Keynotes – May, 2018

Who Are You?
I think I have asked the question ‘Who are you?’ before, but I can’t find it as an article like this. Perhaps it was a sermon. However, since it warrants repeating anyway we will explore it (again?) here!
You have a name. You have a unique appearance. You have fashion choices that you make regularly. You have a history that is unique to you. Such a list could go on and on and we wouldn’t get to the point. Who are you?
Which of the perhaps endless things about you define who you are? Your name is likely something given to you by your parents. Many wives agree to accept the name of their husband’s family.
For me, my parents named me after St. Mark who authored the third Gospel.
Rumor has it that St. Mark was the man who fled naked in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested. “Thanks Mom and Dad!”
A career has defined many people. Actors, Olympians and many sports heroes are assigned their title by the media. The titles ‘Mom’ ‘Dad’ ‘Grandma’ and ‘Grandpa’ excite many people.
But is that who we are? Some people are the children and grandchildren of both famous and infamous characters. Some people even have some very disturbing titles given to them such as murderer, rapist, gossip, thief, adulterer, drug dealer and so many more! But is that who they
are?
If who we are is based on what we look like, who we are related to, what we have done, or how much we own, 100% of that depends on “ME, MYSELF and I.” Initially that could sound good because we don’t want someone messing up our good name. And yet, if we are honest with ourselves, that’s pretty shaky ground. When we are alone and the mask comes off that we
want people to see about us (Some would call this letting your hair down) we can realize that we are weak in many areas. We don’t have everything figured out. And when we are truly able to take a deep look, we find that we need help and it won’t come from within.
The number one best selling category of books is the self-help section. And the reason it is such a big section is that people eventually realize that they want something different, but they don’t know how to get there; and yet they keep scrambling to the same solution, “ME.”
As Christians we have a most unique Name. You were Baptized INTO the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You were given a new name. Romans 6 tells us, “Or don’t you know that all of you who were Baptized into Christ Jesus were Baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through Baptism into death in order that, just as

 

Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Who we are is no longer dependent on what we have done, but on what Jesus has done for us. That is profound! All those blemishes we want to hide about the times we have offended people or done what we now know to be wrong is all covered in Christ! Our sins were drowned with Jesus in our Baptism. Our name is now His Name. We have been blessed in a way that
makes no sense and can only be explained through the Love of God.
Our identity as Christians is no longer based on us, it is based on Jesus. Take some time and read Ephesians 1:1-14. Who we are is important because of ‘Whose we are.’ And we are the Children of God! Stand up straight. Put your shoulders back. Take a deep breath and praise God for His endless love.
Our serving others isn’t based on what we do, but based on what Jesus has done for us. We serve out of gratitude and not compulsion. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
May our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless us all as we glorify Him.
Pastor Oatman