At University United Methodist Church, God invites us to “Be You. Be Loved. Belong.” I love this invitation, and I can’t wait to hear your stories. Together, you and I will learn together what it means to “be you,” “be me,” and “be us together.”
Last week on this blog I shared part of my story. But there’s a deeper reality to the “Be You” then just my Appalachian story or our St Louis story or our diverse, world community story.
“BE YOU” means “Be the beautiful you that God created!” We were formed in the image of God. Psalm 139 says, “My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth…” Male and female God created us. Diverse and yet united, God created us. Curious and in relationship, God created us. Caring for the earth and each other, God created us.
When we turned away and our love failed, God’s love remained steadfast. We were baptized as Christ was—putting to death our sinful nature and becoming who we were always meant to be.
As a pastor, I’m just someone who has answered God’s call to BE ME.
Each of you has the same call: BE YOU.
God invites all of us. God chooses us. We’re chosen, and beloved. We’re children of God, adopted into God’s family. So when we say, “Be You,” we find our identity in Christ.
So, let us Be the people of God.
Be in community.
Be God’s children.
Be at the cross—be with those who are suffering.
Be at the empty tomb—witnessing to the resurrection.
Be in prayer.
Be in worship.
Be at the table.
Be the ones God has created us to be: beloved children, made in the image of God, being remade in God’s likeness—over and over—as we receive the grace that God so freely offers.
It’s not because we deserve it. We can’t earn it. We can’t buy our way to it. We’re not invited because we’re “good people.”
We just have to BE—be a child, be a disciple, be who God has created us to be. Be. Receive.
And we’ll find our identity—as the Body of Christ, redeemed by Christ’s blood, and sent into ministry to all the world—together.