School is back in session. Kids are in a routine and schedules are back in place. I love routines; and fresh starts. Our preschool and children’s Connect Groups have begun a new series of The Gospel Project Curriculum. Everything is new and starting over.
My oldest son, Zachary, started a new school this year. This is the first time any of our kids have switched schools. He’s in 5th grade now, and this is probably the biggest change he’s had in his 10 years of life.
We went to meet his teacher the week before school began and he walked in and introduced himself to her. “Hi, my name is Zachary.” She asked if he wanted to be called Zac or Zachary. He said he didn’t really care. So she asked again, “which do you prefer? What do you want to be known as?”
This simple question brought up a great conversation between us as we walked out. Zachary is starting fresh. He is going to a school where no teacher or kid in his class has met him before and he has a brand new beginning and image to create. He can be whoever he wants to be. He’s not bringing in his past baggage, mistakes, or reputation. He’s starting over. Clean.
For some, this can be intimidating. For others, this sounds heavenly. To be able to get rid of the way people think of us and what they know of our past and start completely over is a dream. But not only is this a fresh start, it is also a challenge. When Zachary walks into this public school for the first time he is able to create a name for himself that he alone will need to live up to. And all the while, he knows that he is not only carrying his own name, but also the name of Jesus Christ along with him. His reputation is not his own. When he walks into that school and introduces himself to his teacher and peers, who will they see? Who is he representing? What image is he making and how are people going to view him?
It’s not often that we are able to start over and create a new identity. But as children of Christ, we are given a new identity when we are found in him. We are accepted into his royal family and we become one of his children and heirs.
Ephesians 2:19 – So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…
Carrying the name of Christ gives us a purpose and reputation to live for and uphold. What do people see when they look at us? Do our actions and behaviors portray the love that we have been shown and commanded to give to others, or do they show selfishness and pride? As children of God, we have been given a purpose and direction for our lives. We do not have to wonder how to act and live; we have been shown exactly how to do so.
Corinthians 5:15 – and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
We have a reputation to uphold. We have a purpose. We carry his name. When the world looks at us, they should see Christ shine through. This is my prayer for my son this year at his new school and this is my prayer for each of us, everyday. When the world looks at you, who do they see?