Monday, March 13, 2017
On our recent trip to southwest Oklahoma, we recalled again an important lesson about identity. No one asked me what I did until I prayed prior to the meal provided the family and friends at the Church. After the prayer, a couple of folks asked me, "Are you a Preacher?" I said, "Yes" and then realized no one asked where I was a Pastor or to what denomination I belonged. Many times, however, we were asked how we were connected to the family. Identity was family oriented, not work related. We were Melvin and Alma's oldest daughter and her husband, the daughter that moved away. We were E.R. and Jackie's niece and husband. Back in central Oklahoma where I grew up, I was always Russell and Irene's oldest boy. It didn't matter that I'm 75 years of age and they died in 1986 and 1997, I was always their boy. I was either Russell and Irene's oldest boy or Hade and Alice's middle grandson. On my mother's side of the family, I was Ada's second grandson. My identity was related to the family and birth. I think it must be like that in God's Kingdom. It matters whose we are, not so much what we do. What we do, i.e., vocation, ministry, etc., is important, but it may not be as significant in determining our identity as we often think. Was something like this what Jesus had in mind when he said to those who've worked for Him, "I never knew you, depart from me" (Matthew 7:21-23)? My identity is intimately related to my relationship with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. What I do is important, but it isn't the main thing.