WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, June 20, 2022 - THE ONLY IDENTITY THAT OVERCOMES, BONDS, AND HOLDS!
WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, June 20, 2022
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Galatians 3:26-29, where the Bible says,
26 So, in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
THE ONLY IDENTITY THAT OVERCOMES, BONDS, AND HOLDS!
I’ve been reading a lot about “identity politics” recently, and, in my mind, it seems to be ruling the political process today. What is “identity politics?” I agree with this definition from an article titled, “Identity Politics Death Grip:”
Normal politics presumes that we can rise far enough above our small-group attributes—our race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion—and that we can arrive at a political arrangement that works well enough for us to live together as part of a larger polity until the next election, when we commence the process again…..Identity politics rejects the model of traditional give-and-take politics, presupposing instead that the most important thing about us is that we are white, black, male, female, straight, gay, and so on. Within the identity-politics world, we do not need to give reasons—identity is its own reason and justification.
At this point, you might be saying, “Hey Pastor Seltz, I thought this was a devotion and not an article on politics!” And you’d be right. What we learn in the Bible (something also helpful in our politics) is that there are things that bond us together as human beings, things bigger than blood lines, tribal affiliations, or sexual behaviors. Such things can help us live civilly and humanely with others, even those with whom we disagree. Note, for example, the political notion that one’s individual rights and dignity emanate from the assertion that all of us are created by God, identified by and accountable to Him. That unity can be a blessing, fractured though it may now be.
This devotional thought is about a gift much greater than that. In today’s reading, we see the kind of unity that we really need, a unity that binds our hearts together. Such a blessing is something that only God can give to sinful humanity. And the good news is that He has done so by sending Jesus Christ to die and rise again for us so that we might live IN CHRIST for others. That’s the only bond that lasts. That’s the only bond that can endure, even when we hurt each other out of ignorance, fear, or insecurity. That’s the only bond that can call us to life-renewing repentance in Him, as well as obedience and faithfulness to Him. We do so, not for our own stature or status, but for our neighbor, whether they be friend or foe.
As reflected in our text, the dividing line between Jew and Gentile in the first century world was solid. But the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God overcame that divide. He made real “oneness” possible again for them, as well as for you and me (see Ephesians 2:11-22). We go to church to receive the blessings of Jesus’ work. And we go to church to proclaim that there is a way in which every tribe and nation can be part of one family, stationed around the throne of God in Jesus Christ. That’s the only identity that overcomes all odds, binds us together as one, and holds eternally! It’s what ultimately matters, both now and forever (see Revelation 7:9-10).
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, help us to see the privilege of being identified as Your sons and daughters. Give us wisdom to see that blessing, not as something to be hoarded, but to be shared with all those whom You send into our lives. AMEN.
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