Pastor Mark Anderson
What is the profoundest, truest thing that can be said about you? Much, of course, has been said; by family, friends, enemies, strangers, neighbors, business associates. Are all these assessments accurate and truthful?
Psychologists tell us that many of the words with which we are stamped, especially as children, remain defining for us throughout life. If they were truthful, loving, affirming words, we embrace them happily, delight in them, give thanks for them.
We also carry other kinds of words that have shaped us. Hurtful, deceitful, callous, cruel, discounting words. We endure them like a heavy burden, wear them like a thorny crown. We may struggle a life-time to replace them, even as the endless assessments continue to pour in from all around us, and from within; always living in reaction to them, failing to become our own person, often unable to understand, know or believe in ourselves.
Are we merely the sum of all these shifting assessments, of what others have said and say about us? Or, are we finally only what we have to say about ourselves? Are we one person today and another tomorrow?
So, we return to our question: What is the profoundest, truest thing that can be said about you? To answer we turn not to the assessments of others or within ourselves to our own judgments. We return to our baptism.
In baptism’s promise you received an identity that is not subject to the whims, caprice and conditional judgments of this passing age. Now, it is God’s assessment of you as forgiven, loved in Christ that is defining, shaping of who you truly are. Through the convolutions and contradictions of your life, you are being carried toward the broad sea of eternity on the stream of His all-sufficient grace. Because of Jesus Christ you are a beloved, forgiven child of God. This is the profoundest, truest thing that can be said about you – and for you.
“May the peace of Gods that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in
Christ Jesus our Lord.”