Your Identity, Your Place, and Your Purpose

By Father Ed KelaherJune 1, 2017
Your Identity, Your Place, and Your Purpose
Through Jesus we have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are fellow citizens with the saints,
and members of the household of God . . .”

Ephesians 2:18-19

Do you know that the constant theme of Jesus’ teaching was the Kingdom of God? Some wrongly think He spoke of money or sin more than any other topic, but His principal focus was on the Kingdom. In major part, here’s why.

No doubt your life is sometimes hard and difficult, but sometimes joyful and delightful. Happiness and security are moving targets for you when you are on your own. Such ups and downs can be unnerving and unsteadying, even terrifying. In futile attempts to balance ourselves, we grab onto things of the world that seem strong and dependable – human leaders, worldly philosophies, political movements, financial security. You get the idea. But those things are as wobbly and shaky as we are ourselves. This world has nothing reliable or certain to offer us. That’s solely God’s role and place in our lives. Compounding this reality are the culture’s ever-shifting standards and measures of right and wrong, of goodness and evil. We try to fit in and find our place and purpose in a society and culture that are flawed and broken themselves. The Bible describes us as sheep without a shepherd, as orphans, and as lost wanderers. Do you feel that way sometimes? I hope not all the time!

Jesus is joyfully proclaiming that you have a Shepherd to protect you and it is Him. You are not an orphan, you are a blessed child of God the Father. You are not a lost wanderer, you are a traveler headed surely to your magnificent home. And perhaps most significantly of all, Jesus is telling you that you can stop trying to conform, twist, and contort yourself to the world around you because you are a citizen of a wholly different World. You are not an ugly duckling, you are a beautiful swan. You are not a bedeviled citizen of a defective society, but rather a blessed subject of a perfect King and Kingdom, passing through society with an opportunity to demonstrate the love, sacrifice, and holiness of our King and His Kingdom. Although the Kingdom of God will not be seen fully until Jesus comes again, it is in our hearts, in our midst, and has been brought near to us by Jesus already. He calls us to be faithful subjects and to live by its holiness and glory.

When you live out your identity as a Kingdom subject, you are able to stand strong and even joyful despite the circumstances around you. The King’s subjects are not tossed to and fro by the convulsions presented by current events and the news media. When the entire community around us is in panic or crisis, the subjects of God’s Kingdom remember who we are, whose we are, and why we are here. No matter your vocation or social standing, you are ultimately safe and assured of your eternal future in Christ. Your purpose in life is to glorify our King by living according to His standards of love, sacrifice, and holiness.

Jesus knows the turbulence of the world and lived among it all. His unlimited compassion and care for you includes His desire to free you from confusion, anxiety, and uncertainty. He wants you to know who you are and, even more, whose you are. He came to bring you God’s love and forgiveness, the certainty of your purpose, and a sense of belonging and identity. Simply put, He came to bring you His Kingdom and your promised place in it with Him.

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