“Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27)
Do you ever ask this question? Do you care what people think of you and say about you? If we’re honest, many of us care just a little too much. Our culture shapes us to evaluate ourselves on the basis of how many “likes” we get, and we learn to curate our “selves” and form our identity to get the approval of whatever group whose acceptance we most desperately seek.
I have a confession: I used to ask this question pretty often. Too often, if I’m honest. I, too, have been deeply shaped by our culture, and it had long been killing me.
“Who do people say that I am?”
Jesus asked this same question, but you get the sense that he didn’t do it out of a desperate need to be accepted. Jesus knew who he was and what his life was for. Oh, how we long for such a strong and stable sense of self like Jesus had.
To those who trust and follow Jesus, he offers us a new identity. (Listen to yesterday’s sermon) We can be freed from all the false identities we’ve taken on and come to truly know who we are. To begin the journey of following Jesus is to begin a new voyage of discovery, one in which his life heals what’s broken inside us and breathes fresh life on all that’s dying. It’s a journey in which you’re always growing and brought to completion in him.
“Who do people say that I am?”
In recent years, ever so slowly, I’ve become less consumed with this question. The reality that Jesus knows me and loves me, and will ever be with me, has freed me to live a life of joyful abandonment to love others. May the Holy Spirit make that reality alive to your heart as you begin a new week.
Marriage Lab is a monthly gathering of newly married couples, grouped with seasoned mentor couples.
You must have been married during the period from January 2020 through September 2022 and attend either Redeemer West Side or Redeemer Lincoln Square to participate.
- Tangled in Color | Art Exhibit, through Aug 28: “Tangled in Color” features works by ArTech Collective artists, this collection of drawings, embroidery and weavings will awaken your senses, evoke emotion, and help you escape the everyday. Through the artistic practice and the created pieces, the artists hope to share a fragment of their creative world as they tangle you up in this colorful journey.
- Join the 20s & 30s group, beginning Aug 31: Whatever your history with faith may be, young adulthood is a decisive period for anyone’s beliefs—spiritual or otherwise. We learn and unlearn a lot as we wrestle with big questions about God and ourselves. You’re not alone in this. And you shouldn’t feel alone. Let’s travel through this season together. Beginning in August, weekly gatherings will be hosted Wednesday nights from 7:00-9:00pm at the W83 Ministry Center and open to all 20s & 30s.
- Build your community: Every community has a mission, and every mission has a community behind it. So if you’re interested in building communities for following Jesus together and making an impact in our neighborhoods, please let us know. Community groups have always been a crucial part of Redeemer’s life together, all the more so when communities have been fragmented the last couple years.
Redeemer West Side is aiming to start up to 5 new community groups this fall. We’re looking for hosts and leaders who are hospitable, can facilitate discussions, and help their group find ways to serve the city and each other. If you feel like that’s you, send an email to [email protected]
- Facilitate a support group: On May 15, we had an Innovation Luncheon where congregants came together to brainstorm and submit ideas for new ministries. Many people suggested offering support groups at W83 and so we are now looking for congregants who would like to facilitate one this fall. Prior experience in facilitating safe and welcoming environments for sharing and support is ideal but not required.
- Summer volunteers needed: Will you be in NYC this summer? Whether you’re here on a summer internship or have been wanting to see what volunteering might look like, help our vacationing volunteers by joining a team, once a month, meet great people and help to serve your neighbors!
- We are hiring: Do you know anyone who’d be a great fit at Redeemer? We are looking to fill several roles on our team before the end of the year. Check them out and spread the word!
- Volunteer at Youth Group on Friday nights: Build involvement with our amazing middle & high schoolers by joining a weekly pizza dinner at W83, leading small group discussions, and being a Christ-like presence in their lives.
- Get Gospel Centered Counseling Content: Sign up for the Redeemer Counseling Update to receive Gospel-centered counseling views on issues that many people face. Also, try these counseling exercises for when you get stressed and learn some tips from Redeemer Counseling on how to address burnout.
- Mentor youth at Operation Exodus: Both in-person and virtual mentors are needed to support students in K-12th grade and create transformation relationshis. Commitment to the mentorship program is for one year, starting in fall and ending in spring.
- Join a Do For One info session: This fall, meet in person to learn more about a special community that supports adults with disabilities. Gain a deeper understanding of the history behind Do For One’s mission, and hear stories about real Do For One relationships!