Shared Identity: Love is an End Result
At its best, family is all about connecting and belonging to one another. Because, at its most fundamental core, God provides marriage and children as a bonding agent, allowing each of us to experience a sense of security and well-being. A family shares everything but most importantly love: love for one another and for each other’s welfare. But this sense of we-ness is not exclusive to families.
When I served as a Green Beret, we had a sense of purpose and mission that both focused and united us. Once we were placed in a hostile environment, where we were truly dependent on one another, we bonded as brothers. This is often referred to as es·prit de corps: where there is a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty. In every sense this “shared identity” in mission, life and fellowship was real. You can see it in the mutual respect, selfless attitudes, and even our willingness to sacrifice for one another.
We all want and need connection. It is essential for families, soldiers and most assuredly Christians living in community. As Christians, we share our common identity in Christ Jesus. In fact, you may have heard someone called a “sister in Christ” or a “brother in Christ.” These two terms could be loosely translated as “fellow believer.” It is the unbreakable spiritual relationship of man to God that accounts for our kinship with each other.
When we as Christ followers reach out across theological, ethnic, racial, and economic divides with one another a common bond develops and grows us relationally. It is through our shared identity with one another that God’s manifest love is released in our communities. And love is the motivating force that the world longs for. So, by coming together as the hands and feet of Jesus our shared identity is on full display and the world experiences His love, care and grace.
Whether it is Love the Rock where thousands are mobilized to serve their community representing more than 40 area churches, or the Emergent Leadership Initiative that brings young business leaders into contact with seasoned executives, ABBA provides opportunities to accelerate His love across our community and together live out our shared identity.