Our Identity in Christ
Title: Our Identity in Christ
Reading for May 26: Nehemiah 7
These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but it was not found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.
When I was in school there were different groups you might find yourself in: the jocks, the nerds, the preppies, goths, stoners, etc. I was a band geek. I ran into someone I graduated with a few years back and the first thing he said when we saw each other was, “You were in the band!” That was my group. That’s how people knew me.
A lot is being said today about identity. Identity is found today in lots of different ways: by feelings and emotions (“I’m a hot-head”); by physical desires or orientation (identifying as homosexual or transgender); by race or nationality; or even by some political point of view.
Why do we find it so important to identify with a particular group? It seems to me that there is a strong desire within all of us to belong. We feel some measure of validation when we are accepted and appreciated and loved by others who are like us. The commonality and connection we have with a group fulfills a basic need within all of us.
Perhaps this is a part of the gospel we need to emphasize more. We are not like those priests in Nehemiah who were excluded because they could not prove some physical genealogy. Our identity in Christ is not based on our skin color or nationality. It’s not determined by our talents or abilities. It’s about what God has done for us through Christ.
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4-5
Father, thank you for choosing us as your precious possession and making us a royal priesthood. May we declare your praises through our words and our deeds.