1 John 3

Greetings, Child of God!

“You’re acting like a child!”  “You’re talking like a child!”  “Quit being such a child!”  If you’re young, like under ten years old, you don’t mind being called a child.  But, if you’re older than that, those descriptions aren’t your favorites.  A person who is older, who has learned how life operates, who has become mature with a grown-up view of the world doesn’t want to be called a child.  Or do we?

We’re coming up on the Fourth Sunday of the Easter Season.  The usual emphasis of this coming Sunday focusses on Jesus as our Good Shepherd.  Psalm 23 is the Psalm for the day.  John 10 is the Gospel lesson where Jesus says, I am the Good Shepherd.  If he is our Shepherd, then we are his sheep – dependent on him, watched over by him, loved and cared for by him.  What a comforting description that is!  And, it’s a description that’s very much like being described as a child – God’s child.

Listen to the Epistle reading that’s upcoming for the Fourth Week of Easter.  It’s from I John 3: How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are! 

That is what we are.  And thank God for that!  Thank God, because we don’t always act like his children.  We didn’t even come into this world as natural born children of God, instead originating in sin like every other human being since Adam and Eve.  I have no inherent right to stand up and announce that I belong in God’s family, that I can call the Almighty my Father, that I deserve to have my prayers answered, my life blessed and then have heaven to come.  I wouldn’t even have the spiritual wherewithal in my natural sinful condition to initiate the relationship.  But, Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. I Peter 3:18

Our Shepherd laid down his life as a payment for our sins.  And he took it up again.  He rose as proof that salvation is ours.  And, because of our Lord Jesus, we are called children of God.  Maybe you don’t want to be called a child most of the time.  But when it comes to our relationship with the Most High, what more honored title could we have?!  For sinners to be able to call God their Father is just like calling Jesus our Good Shepherd – peaceful and comforting!

Remember who you are this Easter season.  Remember always.  More specifically, remember who God in his grace has made you to be: his children.  Remember that the Risen Lord is with you every day of your lives.  You are never alone.  No one can snatch you out of his hand.  You are his child.  Or, as the theme at church this week will remind us, we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.  Psalm 95:7  How great is the love the Father has lavished on us through our Living Savior!