Children of God

I’m what church people would consider a “bad Christian.”  I don’t do daily devotionals. I don’t read the Bible as much as I ‘should.’ I don’t have a home church. I am not currently active in a set community of believers that meets up once a week or so to discuss faith.

I church hop.  I travel around too much to consider a single church home. I’ve participated in Catholic Mass, a Baptist service, and a Non-Denominational sunrise service.  All in the past couple months. I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic Church. Went to Catholic Heart Work Camp several summers in a row. Was active in my church Youth Group and Youth Choir, and was part of Young Life at the same time.  I lead middle school youth through Wyld Life.  I served at Summer Camps, did missions trips, and went to a Southern Baptist university. I consider myself non-affiliated to any single denomination.  And yet, sometimes I feel like I have deserved the title of “Bad Christian.”

Yesterday morning, while sitting on the steps outside the office waiting on the rest of my team to arrive to head out on project, I pulled out my Bible and turned to a random page, and began reading.  And this is what I read:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
– John 1:1-13

I reread it. Several times.

I read it again this morning.

You see, I’m not a “good” Catholic. I’m not a “good” Christian. All I am is a child of God.

A child that was reborn through the waters of baptism in Lake Heartwell, in front of a beautiful group of friends. A community. A family of believers.

I noticed two things today. Two things that never really registered, but were always there.

First: I have nothing. I have no light of my own. No love. No waters of life.

You and I are like the moon. Everything we have is a reflection of God. We are each a light in the darkness because of the light of love that God pours out in our lives. All the love I share, all the hope that pours forth, is from God. I am just a vessel, a witness of his works in this world.

And I have been blessed to be part of the story.

Second: No matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ I am, I will always be a child of God.

I recently became an uncle once again. My sister and brother-in-law are adopting a beautiful, little baby boy. He is part of our family. I know this not because of blood, but because the love that pours forth from his parents, his mother and father who have brought in into their lives.

I see this. And I know this is only a fraction, a reflection of the love that God pours out onto each one of us. He is our Abba. Our Father in Heaven. I am His adopted son. We are His children. Sons and daughters.

It took watching the joy in my sisters smile, the love in her voice, for me to realize how powerful, how beautiful it is to be adopted into the family of God.

It doesn’t matter if I’m a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Christian. God loves me just the same.

And He loves you too.

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