The astute among you will have noticed that there is a different picture attached to this article. Some may even have wondered who it is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the comment “I didn’t recognize you without your hat.” Well to avoid any misunderstandings about this picture let me be clear up front: No this is not my bike. (But I am looking for one.)
Maybe you’re thinking I must be hitting my mid-life crisis since I just celebrated my first 49th birthday. (Apparently some people have more than one right Terry?) Maybe you’re thinking I’m going through some sort of identity crisis. Do I want to be cowboy, football, farmer or biker?
Well it’s none of that. I’ve seen wannabe’s in all of those genres and I know it takes more than putting on a leather vest with the colours of some organization (Christian Motorcycle Assoc. in my case) and buying a bike to really understand and embrace biker culture, same as wearing a hat and boots doesn’t make you a cowboy.
But it can be one of the steps of identifying with a culture. Why would I want to identify with a different culture? So that maybe I will have the opportunity to say in actions and words this is exactly what Jesus did for all of us and more. Hebrews 2:14-15 tells us that because we have flesh and blood so Jesus also took on flesh and blood (the ultimate in identifying with another culture) so that by his death he could break the power of death and free us who live with a fear of death.
In a very small way embracing the culture of someone else is following Jesus’ example, and says you are important and valuable to Jesus and to me. I want you to know that your identity does not come from your culture but from Jesus himself. Then that identity in Jesus is expressed in whatever culture you find yourself.
Here is where I find my identity, echoing Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 1:15-16. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.”
Because Jesus saved me from my sin, I know he can save you from yours – regardless of what your culture is.