By Karen Gieseke, MA Children, Youth and Family student at Luther Seminary
Identity is at issue. The Missional Church Consultation explored identity as God’s child as something to be wrestled with, both in relationship to self and to other.
The scientific understanding of identity begins at each individual’s beginning. More importantly, according to scripture which is God’s word to us, God creates and knows this unique identity from the inception of each of person, as each is formed in the womb. God knows God’s people. The question reflected back is Do we know God, in and through our identity, as God’s child? Or do we struggle with this identity as culture and language cloud our view of the relationship between God and God’s children?
Prof. David Lose reflected on Scripture and people’s engagement in and with it-or lack thereof. Lose suggests that we have lost the translation required to see God’s activity in and with the world through scripture, and instead have learned to view scripture as information and historical story. These perspectives do not engage people as participants or “contemporary hearers” in God’s story, and instead create the “problem of ‘the strange silence of the Bible’ …where actual and everyday Christians cannot approach their sacred story with confidence.” (Lose, 12, 13-14) If we do not understand self as God’s child, we will have no desire to engage in God’s story because it will bear no relevance to life. Scripture provides a lens to see God’s activity in people’s lives, and the stories will reflect back at us. But if Scripture is not engaged in, if the translation to our life is not unpacked, God’s word and our lens into our role as God’s child is limited in its foundation and possibility to people’s lives.
Scripture also provides the lens of one’s life as a Christian, another piece of our identity as God’s child. Again, without a framework for understanding what the identity of Christian brings to one’s life, the word remains unvalued and of disinterest
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