Text: Romans 5: 5b; John 16:15
“Who am I?”
The business world answers,
“ A customer for everything we have to sell you.’
The advertising world answers,
“Someone we work to entice into wearing the newest fashions, seeing the newest films, eating at trendy places, working out at gyms that will give you a body to be envied, visit salons that will keep you looking young, and go on exotic trips that you can talk about for the rest of your life. All and neat desires.
Add to those answers what our hi-tech world says,
“We know who you are by what you post on your Facebook and Twitter and text electronically.”
Whenever I buy a book through Amazon.com, titles and pictures of other books appear below the order,
implying what I have just purchased defines my interests; Amazon.com tells me who I am.
There is another marvelous answer: Hold out your hand, palm side up, and look at the tip of a finger; now feel your ear – either one, it doesn’t matter, and say, “One of a kind.”
That’s your body’s answer to the question, “Who am I?”
Never before, now, or in the future, was there, is there, will there be anyone like you!
You are unique, a unique kind of uniqueness that many commencement speakers are saying to this year’s graduates, telling them they are the best, the brightest – and other words that are giving out rose-colored glasses along with diplomas.
Tony Robinson in his May 20th “God is still speaking” devotional wrote:
I wonder how graduation might go if the speaker said, "Listen, I’m not gonna lie to you, you actually don't have what it takes. Neither do I… If you're feeling a little anxious today, good. You should be. But listen, you and I aren't left to own resources. There's an amazing holy power at work in the world. A power that God pours out on those who ask, those who trust. No, you’re not all that a commencement speaker says, but God is." (Adapted)
At the time of Baptism we hear who we are meant to be because of the uniqueness God intends for us:
“Child of God, disciple of Christ, member of His church.”
The other marvelous answer to the question: Who am I?” which we work at discovering in Confirmation Class on Sunday mornings through the gravely-voice on our comical DVD and our “Anti-workbook” that has us doing all kinds of exercises – with the most fun one being when we use those wooden blocks - all ways to open up the Bible, worship, and the centuries’ old Apostles’ Creed and Lord’s Prayer – and pull us into realizing our God-given, not our self-made, uniqueness.
An exercise we might add is one that had a Confirmation class doing basketball maneuvers down the aisle of the church. (Confirmed and sent out., Fostering encounters with God, Christian Century, May 17, 2016 by Jan Schnell Rippentrop)
One girl acted out dribbling, stopped to put her toe on an imagined line, bent one knee, and then shot.
When asked to do it again, she repeated the exact same actions.
The pastor wondered how she could do the exact same thing a second time.
“Practice,” she said.
“Why always the same routine?”
“Because it works for me. It is how I am most often get the
ball through the hoop and score points.”
Then the class talked about the exercise of worship being a practiced routine, not to score points, but to contact with a sense of God’s presence, as promised in today’s letter:
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
“God’s love poured into our hearts” – much better than a basketball “poured into” a hoop, the poured in love of God that fills us with the uniqueness of being “a child of God,” a God Who come to us in Jesus to pour His life into us and mark us with the uniqueness of Christ.
Like our ASP teams, another church came home from a mission trip and a parent was surprised to see their son put his beloved Pokémon cards in the trash, When asked why, he said, “My friends and I don’t play with these cards, we compete with them. That doesn’t seem so important now.”
After seeing others’ needs on the mission trip, the competition lost its appeal. (IBID) …for a
“disciple of Christ.”
Ask “Who am I?” and discover God waits to connect us with the answers which, in Jesus’ Gospel words happen because: “All that the Father has is mine.
For this reason I said that he will take what is mine
and declare it to you.”
The “you” is plural so as to connect us with our third God-given uniqueness; each of is a:
“member of His Church,” a centuries’ old, worldwide family all joined together as parts of Christ’s body, with us being here in this part of Christ family called “Trinity” the complex name we really don’t know how to explain and struggle to understand, but let’s try as all of us have this quick Confirmation Class lesson on the word used to describe the three, yet one God Who is:
Creator, Parent of each of us, a child of God;
Savior, God coming to us in our flesh to love us even to death on the cross and make us a new creation in
Christ, a disciple of Christ;
Spirit, Living Presence, breathed into Jesus’ followers to sustain, guide, instruct, and make us community
doing Christ’s work as members of his Church.
When this year’s early Easter had us moving Confirmation to this Sunday in May, I looked at the calendar and saw it would be the time to celebrate the Festival of the Trinity, and thought, “We’ve never confirmed a class on Trinity Sunday.”
Suddenly I realized, “How unique this is!”
It’s the Sunday that shouts out the Trinitarian God’s three-part answer to Imani, Skylah, Brent, Alex, and Sharon to connect with today and give yourself to a lifetime of growing into being who you are:
“Child of God, disciple of Christ, member of his Church.”
confirmed on Trinity Sunday at Trinity Church, and affirmed by all of us who add our “yes” as we recommit to our uniqueness that comes from God and not from us! Thanks be to God! Amen.