Children of God
By Jody Griffin
Avery and Mitchell County
“But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17)
Men and women are often identified by the work that they do. Traditionally, this has led to certain people being called by their title, and not by their actual name. As a minister who has served in numerous settings and contexts for nearly thirty-five years, the specific work has often been my name. For example, as a pastor, I am often addressed as Preacher. In the Correctional setting, I am most known as Chaplain. Both of these titles give testimony to the work of my personal calling. When one of our children was very young and their class was observing Career Day by presenting the work of their parents to their peers, I was asked, What is your career Daddy? Preacher? Army Chaplain? What do I tell them you do? To which I explained gently, You go to your class and you tell them that your Daddy is an anesthesiologist, because he puts people to sleep for a living!
Perhaps the most overlooked title in all of history is the title given to humanity by God through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are given the title, the responsibility, and the privilege to live as the children of God. What if we all accepted this Divine personal calling? What if we all chose to live as God’s children and made this identity the driving force of our lives? If we understood our calling and our name as gifts from God, our common journey in life would be complementary instead of competitive. Not that competition cannot be a good thing, it is just that we do very often allow it to divide us rather than unite us. God the Father and God the Son work together with God the Holy Spirit to save, to heal, to deliver, and to lead, just to name a few of the ways they work in unison. Each of the distinct identities of the Trinity works to bring people to a point of decision. Will I accept my title as a child of God and work to see God’s Kingdom built? Will I employ the tools granted to me as a child, to represent my Lord through the work that I do?
For the record, that means relating to the people I live and serve among in such a way as to facilitate the Work of God.
And to prove my earlier point, tell the truth. You are beginning to feel a bit sleepy, aren’t you? Thank you so much for your prayers and support of the work of the Chaplain at Avery Mitchell Correctional Institution. Through your faithfulness offenders who are housed with us, the Administration and Staff who work with us, the families who depend on us to fulfill our mission within the Department of Public Safety, Division of Prisons, and the broader communities represented all share in the Blessing of this name. Together we are Children of God. Together we have weathered the COVID storm. Together we can and will mature into the very thing we are meant to become. Thanks, Be to God! Amen.
Jody Griffin is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Spruce Pine and Community Funded Chaplin at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution. If you would like more information contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more good Christian news from Jody HERE.