I was at the mall last week when a woman I didn’t know pretended that mykids were her grandkids.
I know. Who does that, right?Here’s how it went down:My two kids and I were walking through the department store toward the blueatmosphere o the mall ahead, weaving past display cases like ast-moving cells in a bloodstream. We were passing a cosmetic counter just as a well-dressed woman wastelling the makeup lady about how she was going to shop the kids clothing sale or hergranddaughter’s birthday. At that very moment, another makeup lady appeared behindthe counter. She arrived just in time to hear the well-dressed woman’s shopping plansat the same instant we were passing by. She assumed we were all together. For a mo-ment, I admit, we did look like a little amily unit.“Are those your grandkids?” asked the makeup lady o the well-dressed woman, point-ing to Drew and Madeline as they skipped ahead. “They’re beautiul.”And without missing a beat, the well-dressed woman replied, “Thank you.”Thank you!With a simple “thank you,” I had become involved. Should I now pretend to be herdaughter? Daughter-in-law? I asked, how should my children address her? “Grandma”would be generic enough. Perhaps we could work in a back-story o a shared trip toHyannis Port or Martha’s Vineyard, where people are also well- dressed. Oh, and maybesomething about a amily history o asthma, or bromyalgia. Something specic.By the time the deception had taken place, the kids and I were too ar beyond themakeup counter to provide any kind o acknowledgement or rebuke. I shrugged andkept walking, struggling with how to eel. Should I be proud that the well-dressedwoman would claim my kids? That she would claim me, who had either married herson or sprung rom her body?It’s rare that you’re just walking around lie one day, minding your own business, andsomeone ropes you in to a alse identity. I’ve never been mistaken, or instance, or a su-permodel, a beekeeper, or a Kardashian. No one has ever begged me to play along in anepisode o “Punk’d.” It’s comorting to know who you are and what you should be about.That’s why I love the story in Mark when Jesus changes Peter’s name to, well, Peter. It’sa story o a can’t-miss identity because it comes rom the identity-maker himsel. InMatthew 16:13-19 Jesus is asking his disciples what the word on the street is about hisministry and purpose. Then he asks them point-blank:“But what about you? Who do you say I am?”That’s when Peter — well, Simon — pipes up. “You are the Messiah, the Son o the livingGod.”Something important has happened here, we can tell, because in a rush o enthusi-asm, Jesus blesses Simon, gives God the Father glory or revealing Jesus’ true natureto Simon, and then does something that only big-G god rom the Old Testament does:he re-names Simon. “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build mychurch, and the gates o Hades will not overcome it.”When Peter gets Jesus’ identity right, Jesus claries Peter’s identity. Could there be a direct relationship between God-recognizing and sel-recognizing or us today? WhenJesus asked the big question, Peter didn’t try to put his thumb on the speculations o the crowds or the popular opinion o the Jewish establishment. He answered out o a conviction deep within his own heart, a conviction that was elegantly simple andorever lie-changing. Jesus is Messiah. Son o the living God. Peter acknowledged whoJesus was. And then Jesus returned the avor. “Who am I?” is not something to askregularly i you’ve already answered the question, “Who is Jesus?”So the next time you eel lost or out o touch with who you are or what you’re supposedto be doing with your lie, start asking a better question. Not, “Who am I?” but “Who isJesus?” Not “What’s my real name?” but “What’s Jesus’ real name?” Start with Jesusand you’ll end with both him and a name that’s all your own. A name like Peter. LikeJacob/Israel. Like Sarai/Sarah. Like Abram/Abraham. Like Jolie-Pitt. Just kidding.The atheist Nietzsche observed, “One’s own sel is well hidden rom one’s own sel; o all mines o treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” Spoken as one who hasn’t beenasking — and answering — the biggest question o all.
a letter rom
Why are we here?
IBC is on a journey committed to lie transormation through Jesus Christ. We engagethis journey by growing in Christ, connecting in community, and joining the mission.This commitment comes rom Jesus’ words in the Great Commandment(Matthew 22:36-39) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Tnks r icking u
is ubictin Irving Bib Curc in Irving, Txs.
Art Direction, Design & Goodness
Josh Wiese, Lindsey Sobolik
Or Very Tall Boss
Evan Chavez (
Restore the Bean
)*Heidi Lindsay (
Children at IBC Tanzania
)Patty Thompson (
Supplies for Success
)* Yony Kim (
Bump into Something Real
(Bump into Something Real)
(Restoring the Bean)
Summer Alexander*, Annie Stone*
Thoghts, comments, ideas?
Need Chatter Digitally?
is on the web at irvingbible.org/chatter.
Most beloved and indispensable
Irving Bib Curc: cmmunity n jurny.
Irving Bible Church | 2435 Kinwest Pkwy, Irving, TX 75063 | (972) 560-4600
Sign up for the IBC eLetter,
a weekly email update or key ministry event inorma-tion and announcements, along with a short devotional by Pastor Andy to encourageyou on your journey week-to-week. Subscribe today at irvingbible.org/eletter.
New to IBC?
Turn to page 18.
How do we do this?
Growing in Christ
At the heart o the journey is the gospel o Jesus Christ, the story o the Son o God coming into our dark world to bring light, lie, hope and transormation. The journey begins when we trust Christ, but it doesn’t end there. God’s desire or eacho us is or our hearts and lives to become more like the one who has saved us(Ephesians 4:11-13).
Connecting in Commnity
The gospel story draws us into a community o people whose lives have been trans-ormed by Jesus. This journey is not one that we undertake alone. We are designedto do lie together as a community o Christ-ollowers. It is essential that we walk withone another on the journey (John 13:34-35).
Joining the Mission
The gospel tells us that one day God will take all that is broken in this world andmake it whole. Those o us who are on the journey together are called to be peoplewho do what we can to make glimpses o that day show up in our day. We do thisby telling the gospel story and demonstrating gospel-shaped love to a needy world(Matthew 28:18-20).