Classic Rock lovers of a certain vintage will certainly get the song title reference. Whether or not you appreciate The Who, the unbeatable world-leaders from West London, you'll recognise that this is one of life's most basic questions. Who are you?
More than ever, people struggle to find an answer they can be sure of, and at peace with. Never before in human history have we had as much scope to define, reinterpret, or even, to reinvent ourselves. To live in the 21st Century means that many of us can change our creeds, cultures, futures, friendship groups, careers, or our genders. Of course, some of these choices might take levels of self-assertiveness, money and desperation which not all of us possess. Still, there are options before us which no other age has ever faced. We can continually reimage ourselves. But in these endless possibilities are we actually discovering who we really are, and the solutions to our deepest problems? Or are we drowning in the endless possibilities which don't meet our needs, and which, ultimately, compound our miseries?
Help comes from an unexpected place. The Heidelberg Catechism was framed nearly 450 years ago, as a teaching aid for all who embrace the Reformed Christian faith. It's a map for new believers as well as for seasoned ones, showing us the shape of Christian belief. We're loving getting to know its teaching and its devotional helpfulness as we work through it week by week at Hope. On Sunday we looked at Lord's Day 12. At this point the Catechism explores who Jesus Christ is. Then, without missing a beat, the Catechism puts our identity as believers side by side with His.
And there's our answer in the quest for self-understanding. He is the true Prophet, the true Priest, and King. And who are we, as believers in Him? We are the same. We are prophets, commissioned and empowered by the same Holy Spirit to declare the Gospel message to the World; we are the priests, bearing the holiness of Jesus and growing in His likeness day by day in our service to God; and we are the Kings, who one day will reign with Him in the joy of heaven.
If you're feeling rootless, restless or weary, then look again at your inestimable privileges in Christ. Take hope, and take heart. He is yours, and you are His. This is who you are.
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 12
31. Question: Why is He called ‘Christ’, meaning ‘Anointed’?
Answer: Because He has been ordained by God the Father and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit to be our chief Prophet and Teacher. He perfectly reveals to us the secret counsel and will of God for our rescue. He is our only High Priest who has set us free by the sacrifice of His body, and who continually pleads our cause with the Father. And He is our eternal King who governs us by His Word and Spirit, and who guards us and keeps us in the freedom He has won for us.
32. Question: But why are you called a Christian?
Answer: Because by faith I am a member of Christ, and I so share in His anointing. I am anointed to confess His name, to present myself to Him as a living sacrifice of thanks, to strive with a good conscience against sin and the devil in this life, and afterwards to reign with Christ over all creation for all eternity.