"I knew whose you were." - Some thoughts on Identity

My parents moved to Breezy Point, MN five years ago. This means when my brothers and I go "home" for holidays we don't go to the town we grew up in and see old friends but rather a new place that is inhabited by strangers. (Don't worry, they are no longer strangers to my parents, just to us kids.) Normally it isn't that big of a deal as we spend most of the time doing family things, but it is most apparent is when we go to their church. It was again true this week after the Christmas Eve service. On our way out all of these unfamiliar faces wishing our parents "Merry Christmas." Of course Mom replies with "Merry Christmas. Have you met my boys?" and then we are introduced to people whose names we forget before we get to the car and who we will likely never interact with again.

One of these introductions stuck out to me this year. "Have you met my boys?" my mother asked a lady who sings on the worship team. Her response was "I haven't met you but I have seen you and I knew whose you were." She was talking about knowing I was a Kvamme, knowing I was my parents' son. It got me thinking about identity. How apparent is it to people that haven't met me that I am a Christian? How obvious is it that I am a child of God?

How are people supposed to know who I am without knowing me? It's simple. Jesus tells us how people will identify us. "This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” Love isn't just a suggestion, it is a command "Let me give you a new command:" he says earlier in the verse, "Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another."1 In fact love is not just a command, but it is the greatest commandment. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." and "Love your neighbor as yourself."2 It is easy to trick myself into thinking that I am loving when really I am falling into the same trap as Martha. It is simple to put priority on getting things done and to become "anxious and troubled about many things."The greatest commandment has nothing to do with work or tasks but with love, and that is something that is too easily forgotten.

How often am I truly loving?
Is my identity too wrapped up in what I do, rather than who I love?
How can I reflect God's love?