If God hadn’t been for us â€”all together now, Israel, sing out!â€”
If God hadn’t been for us when everyone went against us,
We would have been swallowed alive by their violent anger,
Swept away by the flood of rage, drowned in the torrent;
We would have lost our lives in the wild, raging water.
Oh, blessed be God!
He didn’t go off and leave us.
He didn’t abandon us defenseless, helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.Â Â Â Â Â Â Psalm 124: 1-6 (The Message)
Lectionary texts: Exodus 1:8-2:10, Psalm 124, Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 16:13-20
I grew up going to basketball games. My brother played in high school and college. I remember the smell of salty popcorn and the taste of a cup of cold Coke. I would tear up the box when I finished the popcorn and run over to the railing and throw the box bits on my brother when he and the team would go down to the locker room after their victory. â€œOh, man! Who threw that??!!â€ â€œThat was R’s little sister!!â€ My brother was probably very embarrassed but I was proud! I was â€œR’s little sister!â€
I am proud to be â€œHenry’s wifeâ€, â€œJanet and John’s momâ€ but I have also learned that having my identity dependent on a person or a profession can change in a moment. Divorce, down-sizing, death can rob me of my identity if it is only based on people or my position in this world. I cannot depend on these to carry me.
Peter shows me in Matthew’s Gospel my real identity. I belong to â€œChrist, the Son of the Living Godâ€. Jesus and I entered into a covenant relationship that cannot be affected by divorce, down-sizing, or even death. I will always belong to Him. There are no â€œsnarling dogsâ€ or a â€œraging torrentâ€ that can change Whose I am.
Paul gives me the balance of my identity.
For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Romans 12:3 (HCSB)
Belonging to Jesus means first, that I am God’s child because of His grace (His unconditional love). With that extraordinary gift comes Jesus’ example, His Commission, to teach and make disciples, not just Believers in Him; to also be a servant just as He was.
I know to Whom I belong. I must live my life like I know it.