Dear Church Family,

Our scripture for today comes from 1 John 2:28-3:9:

“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”

We’ve had some leaks recently. Our kitchen ceiling spent several days dripping. The leaks have been fixed for several weeks but the holes in the ceiling have remained. We know the problem is in the past but the scar is still visible. Whenever anyone has dropped by our home during this time I have immediately assumed all they could see were those holes in the ceiling. They won’t remember our smiling faces, I worry, or that picture on the wall we all love. All they will see are those holes!

We do this with our selves as well. We know too well all the things about ourselves we do not like or are ashamed of and we assume that this is all people will see when they see us. Even things we may have “fixed” years ago leave a scar we are certain is visible to the whole world. This feels particularly acute when we first meet someone. What do they think of me, we wonder. I remember a “get to know each other” game years ago when this very concern was the only thing I could think about. We, the group of strangers, were in a circle and we were supposed to say our name and one thing that described us. As my turn got closer and closer my fear grew. Others were saying how they played the drums or loved to dance or could perform surgery with a teaspoon (that’s what it felt like!). I was frantic. Should I tell them I’m short?! No, that is probably obvious. Should I tell them I am not athletic or I can’t learn chess to save my life? What should I say? I was pretty sure the holes in my ceiling were showing. I don’t even remember my answer that day. I probably said something like, “My name is Tasha and I like math. The answer I do remember was the one given right after me. This woman I’d never met and who was a stranger to everyone else in the group as well said, “My name is Susan and I am a child of God.”

Now why didn’t I think of that?

Today make a promise to yourself and to God that you will not focus on the holes in your ceiling. Instead offer God those scars in prayer and receive back from him the promise that you are his child and no other description of you matters.

Prayer: Loving Father, remind me I am your child. Impress upon me the love you have for me and allow that love to cover over all these scars so that when people meet me, they meet you too. Amen.

Christ’s Peace,