Identity is one of the hot button topics of the day. So many issues seem to tie in with this; what group do we belong to, where do we sit on the totem pole of power and oppression, how do we define ourselves? This identity often seems to become polarised and then weaponised against each other, leading to the fracturing of society.
I think I can see the shape of a hoof behind this. In truth, anybody’s identity is a complex layered matter, and resists easily labelled descriptions. Identity is not just a modern construct though; it was spoken about in the Bible.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3 v 26 – 28
For a Christian, a radical new identity comes to pass, one that places us all in Christ Jesus. This is an identity and a place of belonging that supersedes and holds together all other forms of identity in such a way that unites us together to a new hope and purpose. Leaving behind all old hostilities and resentments, it is a binding of love – as if we who were once cocooned as grubs in the stew of our old hates, have suddenly been released into the beauty, grace and new life of a kingdom butterfly.
Perhaps, we could take something of the letter to the Galatians and apply it to us, in this time.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Black nor White, neither gay nor straight, nor is there liberal or conservative, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
You may add your own labels there, as you see fit. For none of them stand in the light of our identity in Christ – if you are found in Him, then all other identities that used to form the foundation of who we are, of necessity fade away. Only He remains.