Who Are You?
This is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” John 1:19-23
Who are you? If asked that question, what would be your response?
To that question some may reply with a name. Others might be more descript, sharing part of their life’s story, their vocation, their relationships, or other ‘identifying’ information. Sometimes we may be oblivious to who we really are and what we stand for.
When interrogated by the priests and Levites, we learn more about who John is not, than getting a clear answer about who he is. He is not the Christ. He is not Elijah or the prophet. But then he responds with some seemingly cryptic phrase about being a voice crying out in the desert. What significance did that have to his listeners? Were those questioning satisfied with John’s answer or did they continue wondering? The passage does not cite their response.
Our identity is important. It may begin with a name, but more importantly we want to be in touch with who we are in our hearts and souls. What do I believe? What do I value? What do I feel called to be or do? For what would I be willing to lay down my life? As the answers to those questions unfold in life, we increasingly and more confidently know who we are.
As we stand at the threshold of this new year, I suggest that we reflect on the question that I posed at the beginning of this reflection --- “who are you?”. Ponder who you are as an employee, family member, friend, confidante, the member of a team, and most importantly, who you are in Christ. Whatever your answer, may you most assuredly know yourself as the light that Christ calls us to be in a world that needs to know His love, peace, and grace.
Loving and gracious God, lead us into this new year, confident of your love and faithfulness. May we live well within ourselves, live well with others, experience and offer healing, and be a bearer of your truth and love. Let us never forget whose we are, for we are Yours. In your precious name we pray. Amen.
Submitted by Carol DeSchepper
Resources for Spiritual Growth and Development
Welcome to the Prayer Ventures resource page. These petitions are offered as guides to prayer for the global, social and outreach ministries of the ELCA, as well as for the needs and circumstances of our neighbors, communities and world. Thank you for your continued prayers for the life and mission of this church.
Click here to link to the monthly list of prayer intentions: https://www.elca.org/Resources/Prayer-Ventures
Center for Action and Contemplation
Fr. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan of the New Mexico Province and the Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This is a wonderful spiritual resource from author and retreat and conference speaker, and spiritual "midwife". Joyce has a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in English, a M.R.E. (Masters in Religious Education), and a M.A. (Master of Arts) in Transpersonal Psychology. She is a member of the Servite Community (Servants of Mary) and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years. She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa. To sign up for her monthly newsletter go to email@example.com.
Daily Grace from Women of the ELCA (WELCA)
Daily Grace is an on-the-go companion for your journey, offering a faith reflection every day. Encounter God’s extravagant, boundless and often surprising grace by signing up for a daily email message. You can also download the newly updated app for your IOS and Android devices.
God Pause Daily Devotion
Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience.
Melissa's Prayer Journal: The Power of Prayer in the Face of Cancer
ELCA Daily Bible Reading
There you will find a link to sign up.
If you are drawn to Lectio Divina as a prayer practice, Lectio365 is a daily devotional virtual resource that helps you pray the Bible every day. Written by leaders from the 24-7 Prayer movement, this resource helps you engage with the word, fix your eyes on Jesus, and connect with God in prayer.
TEXT & AUDIO – Read or listen to every devotional.
The app is free and is available through the Google Play store.
Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul. (Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, USA)
Some of you may wish to seek a spiritual director as a way to nurture your own spirituality. Spiritual maturity and growth is critical for the parish nurse. As you support others in body, mind, and spirit, tending to your own soul is important. Spiritual Direction is only one way of keeping yourself centered and grounded spiritually. You perhaps have other disciplines and practices that meet this need for you.
Contact Carol DeSchepper for a more in-depth discussion of Spiritual Direction, including access to a web site to locate a Spiritual Director.