Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Those of us who are parents are well aware of this scenario. It happens when we least expect it. Our child, whom we love, respect, and trust, does something that’s incredibly stupid. Frequently it happens in the privacy of our own home, or the home of a good friend. Sometimes it’s rather more public. Wherever it is, and whatever the specifics, something goes wrong. Someone’s hurt, offended, embarrassed. It will certainly cost time, often money, sometimes reputation, sometimes even health or life. And occasionally, we’ll be accosted by the other parent. “Do you know what YOUR child did today?”
Hmm, I thought this was our child, together. I wonder what happened that she’s suddenly just mine? We talk, we shake our heads, we pray, sometimes we confront and correct, and hopefully there’s a time of repentance, forgiveness, restoration, and life goes on.
What happens when we are confronted by the fact, from 1 John 3:1, that we are God’s children? How have we made him shake his head? How have we done things that cost him in reputation? How have we pushed the loving, gracious, and compassionate Lord of all to show love, grace, and compassion? Yes, he delights in caring for his children. But wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t seem to need it quite so much? Wouldn’t it be great if God’s reputation were built up by our actions, rather than being torn down?
The world doesn’t really know Christians for what we are. Their image of God is also warped because they somehow expect that Christians will reflect God’s character well. The fact is, we often don’t appear exactly like the holy people the Lord has called us. We seldom show the Lord’s character very accurately. The text says it clearly. What we will be is not yet revealed.
As we wait for our true identity in Christ to be revealed, may we walk, day by day, in repentance, looking to Jesus, who confronts our sin, takes it upon himself, and gives us his righteous character. It doesn’t seem to fit very well yet, but given time, we trust that we will eventually be like him.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.