“I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God”
~ No Longer Slaves
I AM WHO I AM
The name of God given to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14)
The name so often used by Jesus
“I AM the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
“I AM the light of the world.” (John 8:12)
“I AM the gate.” (John 10:7,9)
“I AM the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25)
“I AM the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14)
“I AM the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
“I AM the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5)
The name of the Victorious Christ
I AM the Alpha and the Omega
Who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty
The Beginning and the End
The First and the Last (Revelation 1:8, 21:6, 22:13)
I AM reveals who I am
Loves who I am
Empowers who I am
Reminds me who I am
I am a child of God
Finish the sentence
I am no longer…
I am a …
I AM, Your naming and claiming are stronger than anything we face during these disrupting days
Your naming and claiming are for us and for all.
Your naming and claiming are forever and for always.
Glory to your Holy Name.
We are thankful.
We are humble.
We are grateful for your great grace and your great hope.
We remember all those don’t know they’re your children.
Who don’t know they are found.
We remember those who feel unworthy of you.
Those who think they do not need you.
Those who do not know you exist.
We remember all who are overwhelmed by news and need
Break through our great need and isolation
Help us connect to one another
Help us help others connect to you.
Name those you long to come to faith…
Thank you for hearing our prayer.
You desire none should be lost.
This examen was written by Ken Carter, Bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. It concludes a message, now monograph, entitled Defining and Growing an Inclusive, Gracious and Evangelical Center: The Future(s) of The United Methodist Church.
If you’re considering adding an examen to your spiritual practices, this would be a great choice, especially during Lent as you prepare for the victorious message of Christ at Easter. You could use the entire examen daily, several times a week, or one section each day.
– Lisa <><
I begin today by claiming my identity as one who is created in the image of God.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am of sacred worth and am uniquely gifted.
When I come to myself—the truth of who I am—I experience blessing.
I reflect on those persons who have been a part of my life today, who have seen this in me, who have encouraged me.
Have I really been attentive to them?
Have I fully accepted their gifts?
I stay with these encounters for a moment.
I see the faces of these persons and listen to their voices again.
Next, I see the moments of my day that I regret.
I rely upon the fruit of the Holy Spirit, especially love, peace, and patience, for help in returning to these moments.
This is uncomfortable. And yet repentance that is of God is a return to the love God wants for me.
It is the journey home.
For a moment, I consider the ways I am stuck or lost. Why do I resist change?
I ask for the courage to return to God.
As I reflect on the day, I ask God to reveal the harm that I have done to others and the harm I have done to myself.
I make an honest assessment of my failures and mistakes.
Where I have not loved my neighbor as myself, I confess that I have sinned.
What is the sin that separates me from those closest to me?
How does arrogance, judgmentalism, ego or privilege distort the way I see others?
How have I buried my birthright gifts and refused to enjoy and share them?
I ask for the gift of God’s healing and renewing grace.
I set aside my own claims of righteousness or merit.
In faith, I say yes to Jesus Christ, who loves me and gave himself for me.
I place my trust in Jesus Christ alone for the gift of salvation.
And for a moment, I consider how I am actually living by faith.
Do I find it difficult to trust?
I return to the good news that I embraced when I first began to walk with Jesus.
I ask that God would empower me to live this day in faith.
God has created me. God knows me.
God’s sacrificial love in the crucified Jesus is for my salvation.
When I have received the gift of faith, I become a more loving person.
And when I have placed my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, I become a part of his body, which is the church.
I boldly ask that I will be made perfect in love in this life—
that I will love God and love the people I encounter each day in God.
I ask that my love for God would grow as I read the scriptures,
spend time in prayer and receive communion as often as possible.
I ask God to give me a greater love for others,
especially those to whom I have made promises and covenants,
and those with whom I have differences.
I ask God for the happiness is taking the daily risk of living in grace, practicing repentance and confession,
and growing in a faith that expresses itself through love.
Every year, on the second Sunday in January, Christians all over the world read the story of Jesus’ baptism and reaffirm their baptismal vows. I pray this hymn text is helpful to you as you remember who you are in Christ. – Lisa <><
Be Still, Remember
a hymn for reaffirming
the baptismal covenant
Suggested Tune- ONE BREAD, ONE BODY (United Methodist Hymnal #620)
Be still, remember, who you are.
Come touch the water
of your birth.
Be dead to sin, alive to God.
Remember who you are in Jesus.
You are beloved.
You are an heir.
You are a child of God.
You are claimed.
You are marked.
You are named by God.
Chosen and blessed
Gifted by God
Witness through word and deed
When you think of the word “enough” what comes to mind?
a. Enough = Too Much. Something that’s bothering you that must stop.
Pat – “I’ve had enough of this moving”
Jo – “It’s what I tell my three dogs when they bark nonstop.”
Song: No More Tears/Enough is Enough (Barbara Streisand, Donna Summer)
b. Enough = Too Little. Enough always tied to the word never.
Fanci – “Enough is a word that … has a connotation of power, because [the one] who has enough holds power over [the one] who does not.”
Scarcity. What you need is unattainable.
Song: Never Enough from The Greatest Showman All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough, never be enough
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it’ll
Never be enough, never be enough
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t want things, long for things, work for things. It means I shall not “be in want.”
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. The Lord is my shepherd, there is enough.
c. Enough = Peace, Satisfied, Contentment. I have enough. There is enough.
Where do you find yourself with the word “enough.”
As I read the psalm, listen to all the things God provides
Psalm 23 (NRSV) 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters; 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; Your rod and your staff— they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Notice all the things God provides
Verses 2-3, rest for body and soul
Verse 3, guidance and wisdom beyond knowledge
Verse 4, companionship. God’s abiding. We are never alone, never forsaken.
Verse 4, God protects
Verse 5, daily needs, every good gift
Verse 5, healing, blessing, and calling
Verse 6, goodness and mercy, now and forever
I Have Enough = Contentment
Trust there is enough- It’s a key that opens everything. This is a very different narrative than the narrative of our consumeristic culture.
Richard Rohr Quote Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own and from a deeper abundance. Once you learn this, why would you ever again settle for scarcity in your life? “I’m not enough! This is not enough! I do not have enough!” I am afraid this is the way culture trains you to think. It is a kind of learned helplessness. The Gospel message is just the opposite— inherent power.
I can trust I have enough (contentment) because I trust that God is enough (commitment). Everything the world tells you will be enough, that will make it so you are enough and have enough, will fall short of God and will fall short of your need.
The Lord is my Shepherd- I have made that commitment. You are the Shepherd and I am the sheep. I’m part of Your flock. Read Psalm 23 again, counting and emphasizing the references to God.
When we read Psalm 23 in this way, we hear the Psalmist’s praise of God and commitment to God. God, I trust you. I have enough because you are enough.
This leads down to our core identity. I am enough. I am enough that the Lord is my Shepherd. I can’t earn it. I can’t buy it. I am enough because God delights in me and says I am enough. Our identity and value and access to grace itself all a gift. This dispels the scarcity that there isn’t enough and I’m not enough.
Read Psalm 23 again, counting the personal references, all the things that are true about you. God is enough and I am enough. Both these truths are equally proclaimed in this incredible Psalm.
This Thanksgiving, remember this. I have enough = I am Content God is enough = I can make a Commitment to God because I trust God I am enough = God says so and it’s now my Core Identity
When we remember this we are re-membered. All the brokenness comes together.
Ann Voskamp on Facebook All the brokenness in the world begins with the act of forgetting — forgetting that God is enough, forgetting that what He gives is good enough, forgetting that there is always more than enough to give thanks for.
Though we forget, though we’re prone to chronic soul amnesia, You never forget us, You never abandon us, You never give up on us.
You have written us, our very names, on the palm of Your hands, written even me right into You — though we forget, You re-member us, You put us and the broken bits and members of us back together again. We are re-membered in You — You who engrave Your love letter to us right into Your skin…. right into Your beating heart.
In the name of the only One who ever loved us to death and back to life again… In Jesus’ name… Amen.