Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Be Who You Is

God appeared to Moses in a burning bush on Mount Sinai, and he said, "I am who I am." God appeared in a man as Jesus on the Mount of the Beatitudes, and he said, "You are who you are."

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

He didn't say, "Thou shalt be .... salt and light." No commandments here. He simply said, "You are the salt .... You are the light." He reminds us who we are....  as if we had forgotten. He reminds us to live from our essential nature.

Brennan Manning, author of Abba's Child, quotes an old African-American preacher of an earlier time. "Be who you is and not who you ain't, 'cause if ain't who you is, you is who you ain't."

These days this advice could easily degenerate into the narcissistic pampering of an already self-indulged ego. But Jesus - and the black preacher - were speaking of a deeper you. We are to be who we truly are.

According to Genesis we are created in the image of God. We are the divine image sculpted into human flesh. It is a concept that has always fascinated me.

An image is a representation, a picture, a reflection. We reflect God like a mirror reflects an object, like the moon reflects the light of the sun. We are to be a mirror reflecting God to others and reflecting God back to himself.

That is who we are. If we aren't, then we ain't who we is.

Artwork is "Hand with reflecting Sphere" by M.C. Escher.

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