“That’s not who you are.” They were the first words out of my mouth directed at my three-year-old who was acting less than kind toward his younger sibling. Without really realizing it, the insinuation was unmistakable: WHO you are informs HOW you act. And in this house, with this last name, but most importantly as a child of our loving Father, we don’t stand for teasing, hitting or hurting. We know how to act because we know whose we are and therefore who we are.
This week’s message calls notice to that concept — the idea that our identity is independent of what others, or even ourselves, may think or say. Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.'” It is identity in short note form. We are created, redeemed, called by name and belonging to a loving Father. But here’s the deal, most of our town, our country, and our world don’t know that. The majority of people don’t know who they are and therefore how to act. How do we love if we’ve never met Love? How do we hope if not for the God of all hope? It’s time for us to lean into our identity as children and to spread the Good news to those who have never known.