Dear Fellow Children of God,
Who are you? That may sound like a strange question. You might answer and say, “Well, I’m . . . “, and insert your name. But, really who are you? What is it that makes you who you are?
Please note I am not asking, “What is it that you DO with your life?” I’m not asking your job or your vocation, though that may define us in part. I am not asking, “What do you do?”, but, “Who are you?”
About 20 years ago I sat down and intentionally thought about this question. The answers I discerned have not only helped me to know myself better, but have also helped me make choices in what I do with my life.
And even today, my response to this question continues to have 3 main answers. First, I am a child of God. I am a human being created by my loving and wise Heavenly Father. I am a sinner who is forgiven because of Jesus Christ. I am called to faith as God the Holy Spirit lives in me. More than anything else, I am a child of God.
Secondly, I am a member of the Rockey family. I am the husband of Kathy, the father of Josh, Andy, Mary, and Tim. I am the son of Robert and Elizabeth. I have 4 brothers and a sister, and 6 grandchildren, in addition to nephews and nieces and cousins. I am a member of this family. They help define who I am, and I help in determining who they are.
Finally, I see that who I am is a pastor. I know that is what I do. But, I also see this call from God to shepherd His people as part of who He has gifted me to be. Pastoring the people of God at St. John is a privilege that shows God’s grace and purpose in my life. I am a pastor.
The help that this insight gives me is that this allows me to prioritize my life. If who I am first of all is a child of God, then it is important that I care for my relationship with God. Therefore, I begin each day in Bible reading and prayer. I worship and work with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Being a child of God even comes ahead of being a husband or father. But, being a child of God, living in the love and following the direction of my Heavenly Father, also helps me to be the best husband, father, son, and brother I can be.
If I am secondly a member of the Rockey family, this means that family issues come before work responsibilities. About 25 years ago our family started planning monthly “family days.” We stayed away from big church events as we planned, but we put these family outings on our calendar. And if a church function came up, I attended to our family days first. I believe that God has created family, and this is my most important human relationship. Knowing who I am helps me to prioritize and make choices.
And, since I am a pastor, someone called by God to care for the faith of others, that knowledge not only informs me about who I am, but also directs what I do. Because I am a child of God, AND a pastor, my life activities and my words seek to be an example and help for others to learn about Jesus. I know I am not perfect. Maybe it helps others to know that pastors are sinners too. But knowing that being a pastor is God’s call to me, this helps me make choice about what to do.
In 1 Peter 2, Peter tells the church to which He writes who they are, and therefore what they do. “9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Because these people “belonged to God,” because they lived in the mercy of Jesus, they “declared the praises of Him who called . . . out of darkness into His wonderful light.” Who they were determined what they did.
I am a child of God. Who are YOU?
A Child of God,
P.S. I have taken a number of people fishing, again.
Here is a picture of Pastor Kalvin Waetzig and myself with 2 silvers caught. https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOs9p67bbeGVDhz8tQ9eVhrrzVw4VIdNDnVpm6L/photo/AF1QipMhIjOkMnoV5J7W3_iHzJUeLm_z-K96RYO-sLX2
Here is a picture of Pastor Kalvin and another member of his from Tracy California with silvers caught another day. https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOs9p67bbeGVDhz8tQ9eVhrrzVw4VIdNDnVpm6L/photo/AF1QipOLk-oRdtoeJm-vRAXKlJesjFfh1xHlHjQ6CTWy
Pastor Tony Schultz and Pastor Kalvin Waetzig, good friends. https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipOs9p67bbeGVDhz8tQ9eVhrrzVw4VIdNDnVpm6L/photo/AF1QipP5zvYY4BndwrtfJlJ-5GWqgPRYDArD5ZgEuM1t
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am regularly adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you don’t want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message.