One of the questions I have been pondering and praying about in these first two weeks of sabbatical concerns my identity in Christ. Do I want to be known as one who is loved by Christ or do I want to be the Christ. I think this is a very real temptation for pastors, and probably many other followers of Jesus, as well. I am very often not content to let God be God. I try to work my way into equal standing with God and place myself on some sort of higher ground as God uses me.
I want to do something great, as if I am the one who does great things.
I want to say the perfect thing or pray the right prayer that changes someones life, as if I have the power of salvation.
I want to teach a lesson that opens a teenager’s heart and mind to seeing God, as if I am capable of divine revelation.
It is my pride at it’s ugliest, pretending that I am God when I most certainly am nowhere near being God. It is legalism buried deep in me that I try to earn some distinction in God’s eyes for being a better pastor that anyone else.
As I sit this morning between yesterday’s cross and tomorrow’s empty grave, I am reminded that the good news is that Jesus came to destroy my need to measure up and earn anything. He calls me to rest in him. He calls me to take up my cross and follow him. He calls me to find myself in him, not in my vain striving.
And that is enough, to be known as one who is loved by Christ.
I pray that I might live and pastor with that truth planted firmly and deeply in me. I pray it for you this morning, as well.