Our message this past Sunday underscored the security of our identity in Christ. It’s something we’ve been standing on and strengthening since the beginning of the lockdown seven months ago.
One of the unique things about our Christian identity is that it isn’t based on who we are. Our identity is found in who Christ is. It is secure because of who he is and what he has done. We are set apart because of what he has done. We are blessed because of our relationship with him. We are chosen—not because of what we have done or how incredible we are, but because of his amazing compassion and grace.
Because God does not change, we can rest secure in who he says we are—both in his written Word and through our relationship with the Living Word.
The world around us can change. Public policies can limit our activities and they can grant us freedom. Societal shifts can highlight different issues and needs in different seasons. Even the weather can shape our decisions on a day-to-day or moment-by-moment basis.
Our identity is more than just a label; it is a lifestyle. It isn’t just our thoughtful actions; it is the core values and attitudes that shape our nature and determine those instinctive reactions that are “second nature” to us.
Our identity doesn’t rest in what we do; it is rooted in who we are. More specifically as followers of Jesus, our identity is rooted in whose we are.
Before the Industrial Revolution, the most common question to ask when meeting a new person was, “who is your father?” Identity was understood as an overflow of relationship.
Who is your father? Not just, “whose genetics have you inherited?” but
- who do you look to for provision?
- who do you look to for peace?
- who do you look to for advice?
- who do you look to for approval?
Who do you most want to hear saying, “that’s my child, in whom I am well pleased”?
Worship with us
Wherever you are today, let these songs strengthen your spiritual identity by affirming your relationship with God.
Some of these songs may be new. Not everyone is comfortable singing songs that affirm who we are in Christ. Usually, the focus is on who God is, but we don’t always acknowledge in our songs that who he is affects who we are. The playlist this week shifts the focus to highlight the relational aspect of worship.
If you don’t know the songs, just listen and let Holy Spirit minister to you. Listen several times throughout the weeks to come. This isn’t a “come to church and sing it once” corporate worship set. This is an ongoing “living with Jesus” personal worship set.
Let the truth of the words sink in until they overflow from your core. If you don’t think they can be true of you, ask God what is getting in the way. If you believe they can be true, but they aren’t your lived experience, listen again and sing the parts that you are believing for. Sometimes we just have to sing our way into the truth.
A Pause to Worship
We have been mentioning we will be “pressing pause” on our Sunday services online for a short season beginning October 18. Before we do that, we are gathering in person for an outdoor hour of worship.
Save the date
Saturday, October 17, 2020
San Gabriel Presbyterian Church campus
It’s been a long time coming! Just as God did not create us to live without hope, he did not intend for us to live and worship him apart from one another for undetermined lengths of time. If you feel comfortable, we invite you to join us as we seek his presence in the presence of one another. If you are unable to attend in person, we will have a Zoom link for you to log in and join us virtually. Because this will be a more intimate time, we will not be streaming or posting this publicly.
Due to the current public health crisis, we will need a head count and will be observing safety protocols as put forth by health and government agencies. Please click here to RSVP by Thursday, October 14 and to get more details about how we will be creating a safe space for everyone to gather.
Hungry for more?
We encourage you to feast on the word of God. If you’ve got some resources on your bookshelf, dig in! If you’re looking for more translations, resources, and devotional guides, try any of the following links or search for more online.
Create an atmosphere to encounter God
During this historical time, we’ve been collecting songs along the way. You can find the playlists on SGPC’s Spotify profile (requires a free Spotify account). Listen to old favorites and discover new songs of the season! Spring off into some of the suggestions generated by Spotify or search for your own go-to songs. These also work well as background music for studying scripture (or anything else).