|Alley - in progress, jfd+ 2012|
John the Baptist is asked by the leaders of the Jewish community, Who are you? They are rather indignant and impatient, as John is baptizing and preaching, and criticizing the cultural structures that leadership had labored hard in creating. The undertone of their questions is: Well, you have some nerve sticking your nose in to these matters about which you have little understanding! John tells them they ain't seen nothin' yet! Wait until the one whom I am announcing makes an appearance!
Who are you? We are asked this self defining question quite often in our lives. And we all may have differing answers for the audience to whom those answers are directed. I was recently filling out an application for a "church-appointed/elected position" and one of the questions was "how do you define yourself?"...another way of asking: Who are you to put your hat in the ring for this position? And my answer was along these lines: "I'm a rector (with all that entails), a son, a brother, a brother-in-law, an uncle, an artist, a writer, a friend, a lover of people, a child of God, a small part of the Body of Christ in the world today." I don't think I'll be appointed/elected to this position, but that question, "how do you define yourself?" (a/k/a "who are you?") has stayed with me. (To parishioners and friends in MN: I am NOT looking for a new call/job - this is a volunteer position within the larger church.)
How do we define ourselves when asked Who are you? How do we answer? Is being part of the living Body of Christ in our answer? Does the inclusion of our faith/belief system shape our answer? Does it depend on to whom we speaking? Good and challenging questions, requiring us to think about where our faith fits into our life.
Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.