The beginning of a new year invites us to look back at the events of the past year, as well as look forward to the year to come. In looking back at 2018, I think one of the buzzwords was "identity." Add to it the word "politics" (as in "identity politics") and you could probably find an argument on Twitter looking to hook you in. So, I want to begin 2019 talking about identity -- not from a political perspective, but from a Biblical viewpoint.
The main question we often ask about our identity is this: Who Am I? How would you answer that question? Would you describe your age, vocation, gender, race, politics, location, or religious beliefs? There are endless ways we could answer that key question of identity - Who am I?
In John's gospel there are seven different sayings in which Jesus tells us who he is, and each one is different. These are sometimes called "The Seven 'I Am' Sayings of Jesus." This Sunday I am beginning a new series of messages on these seven "I Am" sayings of Jesus. I want to invite us to look at the Bible and see how we might find some answers to that question. For example, maybe we need to remember who God says we are - that we are all made in the image of God. Or, that we are also sinners saved by God's grace. Even in the Bible, there is not just one answer to the question, "Who am I?"
I think that we can better answer the question "Who Am I?" when be begin with knowing how Jesus might answer that question. Because we are made in the image of God, and because Jesus is the best way for us to know what God is like - then the more we know about who Jesus is, the more we can know about who we are and who we should become.
I also want to recommend the book, "The God We Can Know - Exploring the 'I AM' Sayings of Jesus" by Rob Fuquay for your Small Groups or for personal devotions during this series. This Sunday we are focusing on "I Am the Bread of Life."
Also, I am asking you to come join me and support our amazing, interactive Mission Fair this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. in the Great Hall during the Sunday School hour. You don't want to miss out on this!