“See what the love the Father has given us that we should be called the children of God; for that is what we are.”
You and I are called many things in this life; daughters, sons, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, friends, the list goes on. But who are we really? Are we nothing more than the sum total of these variously defined and shifting roles or is their something about us that is ultimately defining?
For the Christian there is one designation that brings everything else we may be into cohesion, and that is our identity, sealed in baptism, as children of God.
The late Alvin Rogness writes of this beautifully in this excerpt from his book, ‘The Word for Every day.’
“In the foothills of Montana’s Rockies a little stream is born. It trickles its fitful path down the hillsides, and flows into the plains. Growing broader and deeper, it becomes a river – the Missouri.
“Montana says, “River, you’re mine.” But on it flows, declining to be cradled long by its parent state. Coursing on through the sister Dakotas, it hears again the claim, “River, you’re ours.” Heedless, it pushes on, angling its way between Nebraska and Iowa, but not before each of these neighbors has reached out for possession, “River, you’re mine. Like a restless eel, it slips away, down to join the great Father of Waters, the Mississippi. And as it joins its flow with the larger, the Mississippi says,”At last you have come to me; now you’re mine.”
“Still it flows silently on. At last its currents become slower, fuller, until down into the great Gulf of Mexico it comes to rest in the bosom of the ocean. In the rhythmic heaving of the deep, it hears the ocean’s whisper, “River, you’re mine. “You’ve always been mine. It was I who sent the storm clouds into the mountains to give you birth. It was I who pulled you steadily, irresistibly away from all others back to me. From me you came, to me you return. Only I can really say, ‘You’re mine.’”
“Into a home a little girl is born. Bending tenderly over the cradle, a mother whispers, “Baby, you’re mine.” The years go on, and soon the baby has become a lady. A lover takes her by the hand, and a deeper voice echoes the mother’s whisper, “Sweetheart, you’re mine.” Then one day she stands looking into the deep eyes of her own baby, and her mother ears seem to catch the unspoken claim of her child, “Mother, you’re mine.”
“But the years refuse to linger, and all too soon her hair becomes silver. Life grows fuller, deeper, slower, and one day she glides through the narrows into Eternity’s ocean. There, in the bosom of her heavenly Father, she hears the voice of God, “My child, you’re mine. You’ve always been mine. It was I who gave you life. It was I who drew you, through my redeeming love in Christ, away from all others back to me. From me you came, to me you return. Only I can really say, ‘You’re mine.”
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”