Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on August 18, 2014.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to know who and whose we are. Amen.
Reading: Matthew 16: 13-20 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: In this passage, Jesus asks the disciples to share who people say he is. They respond with various answers, until Jesus presses them to answer the question for themselves. Simon Peter responds that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of the living God! He tells them that is correct and further gives Simon some positive reassurance as he tells Peter that the church will be built on him.
When people ask you who you are, how do you respond? Many times, we wrap up our identity in what we do for a living, or whose family we are in, or something else. But I've heard folks answer the "tell me who you are" with the answer, "I am a child of God." I think that's neat. That is the most important part of our identity, isn't it?
The next time someone asks you who you are, think about it before you answer. Maybe your answer will be different this time around! --Chad Hershberger
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