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The Measure of Our Identity – Thomas Merton

September 18, 2022
Stella decided to climb into the bookcase and this is where she popped out!

This morning I was midway through my sermon at the 8am worship service when I began to feel lightheaded and needed to sit down. Thankfully two members of our safety team helped me to a chair in the fellowship hall while Denise got the car. After being checked out at the ER we were relieved to find out that the anemia which I have as a result of long-COVID was the culprit (along with my blood pressure).

I had been preaching on the difficult and challenging parable of Jesus about the dishonest manager in Luke 16:1-10. The message that came to my heart was about idols that get in the way of serving God with all that we are. No one can serve two masters… you can’t serve God and wealth is the closing verse in the passage. So imagine my surprise when I read today’s reading from the book A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals! This particular passage is found in Run to the Mountain: The Story of a Vocation (Journal 1).

The measure of our identity, of our being (the two are the same), is the amount of our love for God. The more we love earthly things, reputation, importance, pleasures, ease, and success, the less we love God. Our identity is dissipated among things that have no value, and we are drowned and die in trying to live in the material things we would like to possess, or in the projects we would like to complete to objectify the work of our own wills…. My life is measured by my love of God, and that, in turn, is measured by my love for the least of His children. And that love is not an abstract benevolence: it must mean sharing their tribulation. — September 3, 1941

Love is really the bottom line when it comes to life as a Christ-Follower. I was reminded of that today through the care and support of the congregation, our safety team, and the medical staff at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center. Denise and I both experienced that love and are so thankful for the gifts of love given to us by so many.

2 Comments
  1. So sorry to hear about your illness. May God bless you with healing and renewed strength.

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