Thank you for your constant reminders this year that I am YOUR child, and that you call me by name.
I know that I am part of your new creation for you have taught me that I am more than the sum of my DNA, more than the thoughts of my mind or the desires of my heart. I am made in your image and am destined for perfection.
This is not just a 'theological statement' it is my core identity, the ground of my being, and hence the framework for the way I chose to live my life.
This is what Christ has won for me - the freedom to be all that you created me to be - and, in spite of how much it offends or upsets others - I refuse to give it up for what society in its ignorance considers I should be.
In its ignorance, society saw in the incarnation a bastard child of an unmarried mother, a refugee from political oppression who grew to be an unemployed wandering troublemaker with a whip and a loud mouth and precious little respect for authority (religious or otherwise) A common rabble rousing criminal who (for all his supposed popularity) couldn't muster enough support to plead for a stay of execution when he was finally brought before the rulers of the day.
Society has always lacked the vision and coherence to see you God - even when you were nailed up high as a sign for all to see...
But to those who do see.. to those who believe your promise that like Christ they are destined to be more than they seem to be - you give that same power to become your children - children born, not of flesh, but of your will.
And they become a new creation when they claim and take up their God given identity.
They receive from you that fullness of life which cannot be crammed into a 9 to 5 existence or measured by the number of years to live on this earth. And best of all, you do not wait until we die to give to us the knowledge of your gift to us of our new life in Christ - eternal life.
All this I know to be true.
But sadly so few of my friends and family do.
So, on the eve of this new year, and knowing a little of what lies ahead, please God, hear my prayer for those who mistakenly grieve for me or pity me; for my family and friends and all who unwittingly think that the most important thing to know about me at the moment is how my disease or treatment is progressing..
the life and the heart of me
not just the disease in me,
and help them to know that what matters most
is not how many years we have to live,
but how, with you,
we are able live the years we have
growing in grace and holiness.
Help me to live,
so that my whole life
proclaims the good news
that whoever believes in you,
will not perish,
but have everlasting life.