Answer the most basic of all questions, one that will set the pattern for your life, your beliefs, your actions, and your choices. Answer one simple question and your inner fighting and turmoil is put to rest. Answer this tiny little question so that the path set before you will come into focus. Just a single question: Who am I?
The old theologians had famously said, “lex orandi, lex credenda,” that is, the law of what is to be prayed is the law of what is to be believed. Or you might have heard it said, “If you show me how someone prays, how they worship, I can tell you what they believe.” At the very least it is an assertion there is a definite connection between how a fellowship worships and what they believe.
In the midst of life, we are in death;
from whom can we seek help?
From you alone, O Lord,
who by our sins are justly angered.
Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and merciful Savior,
deliver us not into the bitterness of eternal death.
– Media Vita In Morte Sumus (14th century hymn)
Every time I read the story of Jesus coming to the Jordan to be baptized, I imagine Him standing in the crowd. You could not pick Him out. His pronoun would not be uppercase. He would look like everyone else really; bland, dirty clothing, smelling like a train car in France, a fly whizzing around in his hair.
Who am I? It is the question of the age, in an age where we can so easily address or dress up the answer! We change our bodies like we used to change our wardrobe to fit our feelings. Do not laugh or mock, people are really confused. It is not sin, but the result of being sinners. What is the difference between sex changes and eunuchs, body builders taking steroids, or divorcing your family to marry the one you now love?
He heard it a million times from his mom; son of God, born of a virgin. When he was younger, he did not really know what all those words meant. Everyone was nice to him and he had a special place when they went to temple. He remembered the old men looking at him with tears in their eyes, and the widows would touch his little shoulder when he walked by. They told him that he was born of the Spirit, and there was much he would do in his lifetime. When he was little, he tried to imagine what it was he would get to do.
Most of you have heard the story of how I cane to be a pastor. It was not my childhood dream or a sense of duty or something like that. It happened slowly and with great resistance on my part. It came through a growing love for theology and a deep desire to know more. The central question I sought answers for was the fundamental inquiry which has long been at the heart of Christian theology. It is, quite simply, “What must I do to be saved?”