Who Am I?
Sit two strangers down next to each and it won’t be long before one asks the other, “what do you do?” What they are really asking is, who are you, what box can I place you within? There is something deep inside us that is searching for a home, an identity, something that shows who we really are. What are you? I am a dad, surfer, priest, husband, geek, brother, dog owner, son and the list could go on. Does any of that define who I really am, who I was designed by God to be? This weekend we ask what does it mean to know our true Identity, both as individuals and as a community?
Speaking Notes – Caveat
These notes are my speaking notes and are provided as an accompaniment to the recording. Please accept that they are not intended to be a published grammatically correct essay. I do hope and pray however they help you move towards Jesus.
Now on to the content…
It’s the K9 chip I whimpered down the phone.
Have you ever got to that point in life where you are all out of you? About twenty-five years ago I worked for an organization who were experts in the IT field, in computers. We would go into a business and fix major computer issues. They would charge us, gurus, out at thousands of pounds a day. When thousands of pounds meant something. I remember walking into one office at 9am one morning. I walked into the computer room, walked up to the piece of computer equipment that had brought this organisation to a halt, plugged a cable into the correct hole and walked out again.
By 9:15 I was out of the office and a big invoice was heading it’s way to the company. Simply because I knew what to do and they didn’t. That was my life. A life of worshipping money, worshipping myself and my ability. That was who I was, that was my Identity.
And then there was another time when I had been on site for hours and had simply run out of ideas, out of knowledge and out of me. So I would picked up the phone, rang the office and whimpered down the phone it’s the K9 chip.
Whenever we heard the word K9 in a sentence from someone on a customer site we knew what it meant. It meant I have no clue where this dog of a computer system has gone wrong, but the customer is sitting next to me, and I’m all out of ideas. I’m all out of me. Help I need someone who knows what to do next. My god, my identity that is myself, has failed me.
And that can happen to us in all walks of life can’t it? When people depend upon us we can feel the pressure of being the expert, of being the leader, the one in control. Whether that is as Mum, as Dad, as a business leader, or dare I say as a church leader. That is who we are, our identity.
Perhaps though, like me, you too can remember that moment of despair of not knowing what to do next or who to turn to. It is in those moments when we question who we are. Because that is what you do when your identity is wrapped up in what you do. When it all falls apart around you, then you begin to question who you are and what you are worth.
If you are visiting today you won’t be aware but as a church, we are praying and looking to understand our VIP. Our Vision, our Identity and our Purpose as a community of people who are walking towards Jesus here in Bedhampton.
Last week we looked at our Vision – Where Are Heading.
Next week we look Our purpose – Why We Exist?
But today the question we ask is about our Identity – Who Are We?
And that is a good question to ask about any organisation such as a church, but equally, it is a great question to ask about any individual or ourselves. Because when you identity is wrapped up in what you do and it all falls apart. When you can no longer do what you thought you could do. Or as we use to say when it all goes K9. Who are you?
Who are you when you don’t deliver? In the computer industry, I was no-one. I was just taking up space and resources. I was a burden when I did not deliere.
But that is not our true identity according to Jesus.
Jesus says you are children of God that is who you are. Today we baptise Beau/Dulcie and he/she is a child of God. A child of God because that is who they are. Not a child of God because they have done anything. Not a child of god because they can deliver anything. A child of God because God first loved them. That’s just who they are.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
Say our reading.
Those who turn their face to God, those who seek Him are His children. That includes Beau/Dulcie and that includes you.
Jesus put it like this
‘I am the vine; you are the branches.
He is saying we are family. We are in the family tree. It doesn’t matter whether we believe we deserve it, we are family with God Himself. In fact, we couldn’t earn it. We couldn’t do anything more to earn it, we are family. In the same way, Beau/Dulcie is a son/daughter just because that is who they are so are we children of God. If Beau/Dulcie could suddenly become a super child and cleaned the house for a month they wouldn’t be anymore son/daughter to mum and dad than they are now. They are simply a son/daughter because that is who they are.
Equally, it doesn’t matter if we think we deserve God’s love or not, we still have it. It’s just who we are.
Again Beau/Dulcie could suddenly become a grumpy child, chuck things around the house, and scream all day long. Now it might be time for some discipline, but they wouldn’t be any less son/daughter to mum and dad than they are now. They are simply a son/daughter because that is who they are.
Our reading put’s it like this
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..
We are children of God that is our identity. Whether we deserve it or not.
The problem is that I could spend hours breaking down our two readings. I could teach you what the Greek means. I could explain where Paul the author of Romans was coming from. I could explain what Jesus meant when he said you are part of the vine, and how that was incredible. But it won’t mean a thing to you, until you understand who you are. Until you believe you are a child of God.
So I ask again
Who are you?
Who do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see the bloke who is only worth something when you deliver? Do you see the woman who is only worth something when they achieve. Or do you recognize that you are first God’s child?
Because the truth is it doesn’t matter, who we are as a church. What our identity as a church or any other organization is, until you know who you are. Our identity as a church is that we are a family of God’s children. This whole book cries out with that news. We are first God’s children that is our identity as a church. But we will only get that as a community when we first understand that as individuals. When we understand quite how much we are loved just because of who we are, by God Himself.
And so there is no need for any deep theology today. There is no need for me to bang on for hours, and set you challenges.
I simply plead for you to do one thing. I simply ask you to go home, and when you look in the mirror to ask yourself one question.
Who am I?
Because when you truly understand you are a child of God.
Because when you truly understand He came for you.
Because when you live life knowing, it doesn’t matter what anyone else believes. You are a child of God. That’s when you will know who you are.
So as you brush your teeth tonight, look into the mirror and ask yourself the one question.
Who am I?