A message from The Rev’d Lyn McRostie, Rector of Northwood.

Posted by Admin on 25 March 2008, 12:00 am

Who do you think you are? Who indeed? We probably know this question as the title of a very popular TV programme which investigates the family trees of celebrities and other well known personalities. Perhaps it’s something we often ask ourselves. It was certainly a question that Jesus faced during his ministry as people questioned his teaching and his authority. How would you answer that question if someone asked you “who do you think you are”?

It’s a very relevant question because this issue of identity is so predominant now. Yet we define ourselves in so many different ways: “I, me” is one way. Another way is to describe ourselves in terms of our relationships: mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, step-father, step-sister, brother-in-law, great-aunt, friend; the list can go on and on.

Then there are the other ways of defining ourselves: our hobbies – maybe rambling or steam trains; the radio stations we prefer; the music we like; the newspapers we read; the sports we follow – tennis, ice hockey, rugby or football; the teams we support – Pompey or Saints; our historic nationalities – Welsh, English, Scottish, Irish – dare I say it, even Australian. I’m reminded of the words I once saw on a New Zealander’s t-shirt – “I support New Zealand and any team playing Australia”.

Yet as a Christian, I have an allegiance that goes beyond geographic borders. As a Christian I believe that we are all created in the image of God, that we are loved equally by God and we are inextricably linked to each other through Christ. That’s why I’m so concerned about the thinking behind the mantra which runs along the lines of “if what you’re doing doesn’t hurt anybody, it doesn’t matter”. What we do does matter. Through Christ what we do, as individuals, has an impact beyond our immediate awareness.

We may not see the direct impact of a particular action we might take but there are always consequences – because we are linked to each other and to creation. How can we predict the hurt of what we do to others – and what about the hurt we may do to ourselves?

These are complex and ethical questions – probably not popular in a world which encourages us to put ourselves and our own desires first. But in this season of Easter, when we recall the generosity of Christ on the cross, I would encourage you to reflect on the question: – who do I think I am and how does what I do and say affect and influence other people and the world.

May God bless you in this Easter season and always.

With love and prayers


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