Wednesday, March 11, 2009

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

The Good Weekend Magazine (SMH 22/11/08) featured a quick quiz called “Upfront” for Dave Hackett. He’s an author, cartoonist and part time actor.

At one point he was asked his “most humiliating moment”.

“After I played a murder suspect as an extra on Australia’s most wanted, I was spotted in a shopping centre by an old lady, who started pointing at me, yelling, “That’s him! That’s the criminal!”

Fortunately I’ve never been called a criminal. For some of my youthful indiscretions I probably should have been. But how often don’t we experience cases of mistaken identity. Some years ago I waltzed up to a bloke at Central Station and welcomed him to Sydney. (He was from Wagga!) He looks at me and says “Never been to Wagga, mate!”

Mistaken identity! Reminds me of something Pastor John Sims said to his congregation when I was in my training with him. “Jesus told us to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Sometimes when I observe you it seems I’m looking at a sheep in wolves clothing.”

Clever heh. But he has a point. Our outer lives are meant to match the inner reality of forgiveness and love, and being a “child of God”. That’s what God wants from us in this life. And it’s why James the apostle cries out , rather like a exasperated tailor, “It’s not fitting…”. Mistaken identity.

Jesus Christ’s life is fully in us. So that’s what is now free and able to seep, ooze, flow out of us.

We do get it wrong. Sometimes in a moment, without thinking. Sometimes, though, we are unrecognisable as Jesus’ brothers and sisters. It is not fitting! The way we talk, the language we use, the stories we tell, (or send on the internet), the drinking we do, the compromises we make, the selfish ambition we pursue, the harshness or bitchiness we show in our relationships – all of these do not reveal Jesus Christ to a broken, way off track world.

Hope? Yes. Constant forgiveness as we identify and acknowledge the failure. Also the Holy Spirit revealing Jesus identity to us and giving us the gumption to live it out. AND ALL OF IT BASED ON THE FACT THAT IMMANUEL, GOD WITH US, EMBRACED OUR SINFUL BROKEN IDENTITY, ON THAT CROSS, AND SET GOD FREE TO GIVE US THE JESUS CHRIST IDENTITY WE NEED. And that resurrected (born again?) CROSS BEARER, says to me and you “FOLLOW ME”.

Bless You

Fred

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