This is a test… Who are you?
You might give your name, or you might give your defining role (like mom, or firefighter, or mayor), or you might give your future dream (aspiring artist, future CEO). But, those are incomplete answers… maybe even knee-jerk responses.
Who we are really is the sum total of our experiences and influences, our loves and losses, our hopes and dreams, our friends and family, our community and mission.
Alright, so that might make for a long and clumsy introduction when meeting someone for the first time. But, that doesn’t negate the necessity of cultivating an IDENTITY. Many of the most successful and accomplished people across all human endeavors have, at some point, reminded themselves of who they are and where they came from. This is a powerful, clarifying, and catalyzing exercise.
We need to know who we are and where we came from if we are to ever live into all God has planned us to be. Without identity we are like a ship sailing without map or compass. Sure, we can have many adventures and accomplish many things, but we will have no idea if we have remained on course, true to ourselves and true to God.
As Christians our identity is first and foremost in Christ. John 3:16 says it perfectly: For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whosoever should believe in him will not perish but have eternal life. We are Jesus’ beloved. Together, Christians share a communal identity: redeemed by God through the death of Jesus. This defines everything! Because we are redeemed by Jesus, our lives are no longer ours but Gods. Because we are redeemed by Jesus, our lives are shared together as brothers and sisters in this redemption.
We remember this identity every time we come to the table of Holy Communion (The Lord’s Supper), as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:14-17
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
Ever since Jesus shared this meal with his disciples, faithful followers of Jesus have been gathering around the table to remember Jesus… and by doing so… remembering who they are and where they come from.
Let us continue to strengthen our identity in Christ today as we gather at the communion table to remember.