What my 5 year old does when he finds my iPhone…

29 01 2013

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Do we know who we are…. really?

28 01 2013


Just a couple of weeks ago I watched one of those films….. y’know, one of THOSE films. The ones that you have never heard of when you see it in the listings, but you stick it on anyway – and it turns out to charm you, enthral you, entertain you, hurt you and leave you better in soul by the end? It was a gem of a film, called Oranges and Sunshine, starring Emily Watson.

The storyline followed one  English social worker’s fight to unveil the truth regarding the mass deportation of children – over 130,000 in all – from these shores to Australia in the ’50s, ’60s and even as recently as the ’70s. I was moved, upset even, as I listened to actors being interviewed by the social worker about their plight,  these stunted children in grown-up bodies. They had been shoved on ships, told they were going for a special holiday, fed lies about what awaited them Down Under. After years of being orphaned, of being mistreated in so-called ‘Christian’ institutions, this lady social worker single-handedly set about finding out who these people really were, and trying to re-unite them with their mothers (many of whom were lied to by the exporting agencies). A great film. I found myself upset and angry with past governments who failed to protect children within their borders, and allowed dignity and identity to be stripped from those who were born on these shores.

We all have a deep craving for dignity; for  a sense of placement in the world, and in history. Everyone wants to know they matter. Ultimately, we want to know who we are, why, what we are living for and where we are going.

A letter was written in about AD 60 by a man who thought he knew who he was, who God was, and how everything should be. He was pro-establishment, anti-revolutionary, anti-followers of the crucified blasphemer, Jesus of Nazareth. Until one day he was blinded and knocked off his horse by Jesus himself. From that day on, this man had a new name, a new identity, and a new purpose in life. His name was Paul.

This letter he wrote, as we have it today,  is called the Letter to the Ephesians, although the two oldest manuscripts found of this letter leave a blank where the name of the recipients should be. It was a circular. This circular letter has been honoured over the centuries by many of the greats, with titles such as “the Alps of the New Testament”,”the believer’s cheque book”, “the Queen of the Epistles,”  and even “the divinest composition of man” bestowed upon it. The transformed Paul wrote this letter not to address a difficult issue in a local church, but to address as many as who were now in Christ regarding their identity.  As you and I read it with fresh eyes, I believe we will be shown who we are and who we are destined to be, and how we  are made to matter in the incredible story of eternity. All in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Lost identity? Robbed of dignity? One word – Ephesians.