December 15, 2023

Read Philippians 3:12-16.

Often, we spend our lives wondering about questions like, “who am I?” and “what am I supposed to be doing with my life?” For some, it becomes a crisis of sleepless nights; for others, it becomes a time of enlivening exploration. Here, Paul speaks directly to our wonderings by pointing to the one born in the manger.

Who am I? “Christ has grabbed hold on me.” The Message translation by Eugene Peterson translates this as Jesus “has so wondrously reached out for me.” Your identity is bound up in the one who reaches out to you, calling you by name. You are God’s child. You are a member of God’s flock. Who we are is not a mystery to God. Our identity comes from Christ, who draws us into God.

What am I supposed to be doing with my life? “I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.” For Paul, our lives are not meant to be spent wrangling over our past – whether good or bad – but our lives are a journey into Christ’s calling for our lives.

This Christmas season, I invite you to see the babe in the manger as one who continually reaches out to you, grabs hold of you in a loving embrace, and gives you a blessed calling.


God-with-us, thank you for continually reaching out to us time after time, grabbing ahold of us and calling us your children, no matter what our past may have been. Amen.

Will DeLaney Director of Christian Education, First Presbyterian Church (Laurens, SC) Alum, Presbyterian College UKIRK