I have an e-bay account that I rarely use. I have bought something once or twice a year or so ago, and I have never sold anything on it. Someone decided to hack my account to sell something they had no intention of delivering. It has been cleared up, my account closed, and the buyer got their money back. Somebody got away with a small amount of money by taking my identity. So many are trying to be something they are not in order to get some kind of temporary gain or feel better about themselves. If only they understood what they truly are. We have each been created uniquely by our God who chose us, loves us, and calls us to be His child. What greater wealth, what greater status, what greater beauty can one have than being a child of the King? You are God’s child for Jesus’ sake. Rejoice and live in that truth.
Live up to who you are. That is the message of St. Paul. In his letters written to the churches he declares that we have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ; that we have been made His children, members of His household. He will then say, “be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you…” (Ephesians 5:1-2) Because this is who we are, then this is how we are called to live. It is not an unusual message. We hear it in the world at large. You are a member of the local Lions club, therefore make the Lions proud. You are an employee of a great company, therefore do your best to serve that company. You are an American, therefore live by the ideals of our American heritage. These are messages we hear. How much more, then, when we hear this word from our Lord. “You are my beloved child. You are a part of My eternal household” Our desire now, by God’s grace and the work of His Spirit within us, is to live out a life of love that is pleasing to our Father.
Do you know what an Avatar is? I didn’t until I looked it up. It is a name attached to a couple dozen different things from a movie title to a racehorse. Originally, it was the appearance of a Hindu deity. But, popular today, it is a person making up a character to play in a video game. It becomes the persons alter ego. A person can make up whatever characteristics they want, strength, cunning, intelligence, beauty, whatever. I’m not at all experienced in such things. It may be fun, and have its place in video games, but I’ve already been made over, and I didn’t do it myself. You and I, dear Christian, have been made over from the inside out, with a heart change by Jesus Christ. He has been working through all of our years to make us into people who reflect His love. We don’t really need to dream up characteristics that make us great. We have already been made great by the free gift of God’s grace. We are called children of God. There is nothing greater.
When a man and woman are married Scripture says they become “one flesh.” A new identity is formed. Neither is the same person they were before. They are a part of a new whole. In Genesis, the man and woman are taught to leave father and mother and cleave to one another. They are no longer two, but one. It is in this identity change that the illustration of marriage as a model of Christ and the church has meaning. Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”(I Corinthians 5:17) The church is the Bride of Christ. We have a new identity in union with Him. We have taken His name, Christ-ians. The Bridegroom has come, and taken us to Himself. In His love and sacrifice, He has made this union possible. It is why the final consummation is called “The marriage supper of the Lamb.”(Revelation 19:9) This is the way we are to understand ourselves as Christians, and also in its greatest symbol, marriage. We are no longer two, but one.