I learned a secret from a parent. She has a son in high school. She said, “You wait! Kids are smart, especially on Instagram.”
I asked, “What do you mean?”
She said, “They’ll let you follow their public Instagram. You can keep up with them. At least you think you are keeping up with them. But what you don’t know is they have another Instagram account with a crazy name that you’ll never know about. That’s the Instagram their friends follow.”
One of the continual struggles throughout the Bible is identity. It’s a struggle today too. Who are we? High school students set out to create identities and judge the worth of those identities by what others say. It’s a struggle for adults as they battle with themselves about their worth in relationship to their careers.
Who do we let see the real us? In the gospel of Luke Jesus is being baptized. When he was baptized on the Jordan River a voice from heaven says to him, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).
Jesus’ baptism marks the beginning of his public ministry. He is about to set out to save this world full of sin. Throughout his ministry, the devil and religious people will attack the quality that makes Jesus unique: his identity. They try to persuade him he’s not the Son of God.
Throughout our lives, the devil will attack us in the same place: our identity. We will feel insecure about who when we fail or when others make a snide remark that causes us to recoil.
That’s why God made sure Jesus heard these words loud and clear: “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” These same words are for you. Have felt like you’re not good enough? Are you unsure about the real you? The real you is beloved. Why? Because you are God’s child. Remember whose you are. You are God’s child. With you, God is well pleased.
I offer this invitation. If you need to be reminded you are a child of God, we will be remembering our baptism this Sunday (January 13) at the church I serve called Haygood Memorial United Methodist. If you have never been baptized and would like to consider being baptized and root your identity in the saving love of Christ, you are invited. Let me know. You are God’s child.