It has long been said that being born in a Christian country does not make you a Christian, in the same way if you were born in a garage that would not make you a car. So what is a Christian's heritage and how should we make that visible? (Thank goodness the days of wearing no makeup or dowdy clothes - for women - has long gone - oops there were no such obligation put on men!)
This morning I read from 1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" and like 'Breaking News' it put the Christian heritage back in perspective. We have heard so much lately about the sins of ( in particular) the Catholic Church in relation to child molestation, as well as Christian organisations who are supporting persecuted Christians, then throw in the progressives who want all religion ( particularly Christianity) removed from the public square and I feel that God has been diminished and filed away in a cloud along with all the other computer folders not needed any more.
But of course, this isn't so. God is not 'watching us from a distance' but is here with us as Jesus clearly said 'I am with you always'. So what does this mean for a Christian, or how should we describe our heritage?
Paul's letter to the Ephesians sets out our heritage so clearly in chapter 1. 'God, who has blessed us ... chose us.. destined us for adoption... grace that he freely bestowed on us ... in him we have redemption, forgiveness of our sins, ...we have also obtained an inheritance,......we might live for the praise of his glory.... we were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit...' This is only part of the promises listed, but for me, it puts the sovereignty of God and who we are back in perspective.
But how do we make this heritage visible? Like the person who chooses to identify with a particular culture but has no visible identity, so is the person who says they are a Christian but is no different from those around them. I am not suggesting the wearing of dowdy clothes, religious symbols or any other outward sign to identify us, but instead we should see what the Bible has to say.
This could be a huge topic in itself, but a clear summary is found in John 13:34-35 when Jesus told his disciples "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another ...by this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another".
Jesus death on the cross has given us a wonderful heritage, but that heritage must be visible for others to see. Easter is a good time to think again as to 'Who Are We?'