Advent Reflection | Saturday: Psalms 39-41; Jeremiah 9.17-26; Ephesians 4.17-32

From: Heather Kaufmann

What do you find your identity in?

I was asked this question fairly regularly in my evangelical upbringing, to the point that the words felt cliche and meaningless. In fact, it’s only been in recent months that this question has begun to sink in as I’ve pondered other questions such as: “What makes me feel pride?” and, “What brings me shame?”

In Jeremiah 9:23-24, we are challenged not to boast in our wisdom, might, or riches (“let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth”). We are told to be proud of understanding and knowing God. This is not, in the worldly sense, something we can do or accomplish! It’s actually not about us at all. 

We are also told in Ephesians 4:22-24 to put off our old selves—“corrupt through deceitful desires”—and to put on the new self which is “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” So much of my pride and shame centers on deceitful desires. But when I am drawn back into the good work of understanding and knowing God, I find such freedom. The Lord has done it (Ps. 23:31) and He is making us more and more like himself, and that is the best of gifts.

Lord, give us the humility to make less of ourselves and more of you. Transform and renew us, that we might find ourselves in your steadfast love, justice, and righteousness.

I moved across the river to Dorchester this summer where I live with three other CotC women. I’m sad to say my first attempts at urban gardening were a flop but am hoping for better luck in 2018!