I admit I’m not always the best Christian. Not even close. I’m also not the most perfect human being. I can rub people the wrong way. But deep down I’m a kind person who is entitled to my own opinion and to show my heart when I see injustice in the world. I hope I make sense.
Identity is more than your name, it’s about who you belong to, organizations you are members of and what you believe in, your ethnic group and other attributes. All those things influence you and is a part of how you interact with others. Your identity is like a personal brand that can give you some belonging to a group of people or it can set you apart from the crowd.
For me being a part of a loving family, membership in God’s family, who I work for and the community I live in can give you a sense of what I am all about. Taking those things seriously has given me an identity that I can share with others.
The other side of identity is that you might find yourself focusing on those things that give you belonging, and you might lose a sense of you are as a human being. I don’t think your identity should be a tool that excludes but it can be a way of inviting others to have a vision of the possibilities for them.
Let your identity be who you are but know it can be expanded and new things can be added to your life’s resume. Be proud of who you are but also be humble because other people have their own unique identity too.
St Francis is the patron saint of animals so many churches offer animal blessing services, usually held on or around October 4th. At my church, St Peter’s Episcopal this morning we had morning prayers and a blessing of the animals rolled into one service. It is always fun to have our four-legged friends join us. All we had this morning was dogs and cats but, in the past, we have had farm animals, snakes, and spiders. All things great and small have been blessed at this service.