“The compulsion to hide our identity as children of God affects us all. Not in Persia, but at work, school, on the bowling league, and in the Pony League. But at some point each of us has to figure out who we are and what that identity means for our lives.”- Max Lucado
“Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.”- Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NLT)
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 3 of Made for This Moment as he reminds us that Mordecai and Esther created a world of hidden identity. Hence, Mordecai kept his Hebrew identity from public knowledge. While Esther, Max observes, worked her way through the queen search committee without disclosing her Jewish heritage.
Certainly, like Pastor Lucado, we’re tempted to peel off the sweatshirt (see previous blog). Thus, in such moments, it’s vital to remember God’s clear message, as found in 1 John 3:1 (THE MESSAGE): “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it — we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.”
In conclusion, Max tells of the time he received an unexpected reminder about his identity. A Texas live oak marks the grave of his mom and dad. Because, after doctors diagnosed Max’s dad with ALS, he asked permission to plant the tree at the family gravesite. Thirty-five years ago the live oak was barely a sapling. However, today the tree extends far over the graves.
Most significantly, Max notes, the size of the tree mattered little compared to what his dad carved on the trunk. Dad etched a heart into the bark. So, as the tree grows, the heart grows. Above all, though, Max’s dad placed the initials of his kids in the center of the heart. Thus, each child had a place in his heart.
Consequently, Pastor Lucado exhorts, when a sweatshirt moment occurs, just remember that you’re a child of God.
Today’s question: When do you feel the compulsion to hide your Christian identity? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the Christmas Short Meditation, “Cry out and shout all round about”