Identity Issues

 
 
 
IDENTITY ISSUES
Who are you? The question comes up in every new encounter.  The words may not always be so direct, “what do you do?” “where do you come from?” “where did you go to school?” – the list goes on but the question remains – WHO ARE YOU?
 
Have you thought about it lately?  It can be daunting.  Who are you? 
 
Are you your social media feed – a stream of curated pictures, thoughts and comments?  Are you the full list of accomplishments on your Curriculum Vitae?  How about the rewards or compliments you get from friends and society?  Is our identity in out-competing, out-experiencing those around us?
 
Or maybe its in our immutable characteristics?  Am I the color of my hair or eyes?  Does the pigment of my skin dictate my identity?  Can I be reduced to genetic expression and destiny?
 
Who are we in this world?  Perhaps our nurtured upbringing tells us who we are?  Are we our parents or grandparents offspring?  Are we the worthy bearers of the names passed along to us?
 
The questions keep on coming, even as the waters of life threaten to rise, rage, rinse away our every emerging answer.   Injury, firing, death, failure, despair, pandemic.  These storms rise and still the world continues to ask – who are you?
 
The onslaught of the question can be exhausting.
 
Thanks be to our God we have a refuge and a hope.
 
The answer beyond ourselves.
 
Isaiah tells us God has been a refuge for the poor,    a refuge for the needy in their distress,a shelter from the storm    and a shade from the heat.
 
The Psalms tells us God is our refuge and strength,    an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,though its waters roar and foam    and the mountains quake with their surging.
 
God our source of refuge and strength, asks a different question, whose are you?
 
We find in Genesis, God created human in his own image, in the image of God he created humanity; male and female he created them.
 
You are an image bearer.
 
The psalmist sings in reply, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
 
Paul writes we are God’s masterpieces, created in Christ Jesus.
 
We are wonderfully made.
 
And as to those mistakes and marred understandings – Peter tells us, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
 
I can be cleansed.
 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
 
We are new and renewed
 
For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith. 
 
In Jesus.
 
I have new life.
 
In God.
 
You are wonderful image bearer.
 
In the Holy Spirit,
 
We are bearers of God.
 
Child of God….An identity to rest in…a rock the waters cannot wash away…a destiny no dna can deny…a family no death can destroy…an accomplishment beyond the capacity of our own failures…
 
Who are you? 
 
In Jesus – you are loved.
 
You are a child of God.
 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
 
Amen.

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