so, i’m preaching this weekend (and next) at my church. and i’m going to talk about identity (the series title is “embracing our identity”). and i have this highly annoying thing going on:
i’m building a three-part sentence — or, at least, that’s the plan at this point. the first section is you are. this is an existential reflection on the fact that we are created beings. and, moreso, that we are created in the image of god. i’m planning on spending a bit of time on one of god’s chief characteristics: passion. and that we have this god-trait in us also.
then, the second section adds a word to the first sentence: you are god’s. this is, obviously, talking about the fact that we belong to god.
the third section, in my current very-rough draft, is: you are god’s chosen. This won’t be a discussion of election; rather, my plan was to talk about what it means to be chosen to be the image-bearers of god in the world.
but i have two rubs:
1. the second week of the series, i’m planning on talking about what it means — given our identity — to live missionally in the world. but this third section seems to be already going there. and my wife — rightly so — is concerned that i’m going to spend too much of my time on “doing”, and not enough time on knowing that our identity is in “being” the beloved of god. so, i’m wondering if i should just stop after the first two sections, and leave the third for next week.
2. then, i feel like i’m supposed to use the little C.S.Lewis short story The Man Born Blind, and talk about Light. i feel like god gave me a nudge about this. but it’s so esoteric, and i’m both concerned that the people in my church won’t get it (i’m not very clear on it myself); and i’m also concerned that i’m forcing it in here. my thought was to develop it as part of what it means to be the image-bearers of god in the world (jesus says, “i am the light of the world.” but we are also told that we are the light of the world). but again, maybe it’s better — if i use that at all — to save it for the second week.
then again, maybe god nudged me to this idea just so i would wrestle with it and sweat about it and struggle with it — and never preach it.
give me clarity, god.
[[update: i’ve decided to push the third sentence — you are god’s chosen — to next week and make it the whole message then. this allows me to more fully focus on our identity as beloved created beings this week. i may bring A Man Born Blind into it next week — but it no longer fits this week.]]