Who Am I

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1 Chronicles 16-18; John 7:28-53

16 Then King David went and sat in the Lord’s presence. He asked:

Who am I, Lord God, and of what significance is my family that you have brought me this far? 17 But even this was too small in your eyes, God. You have spoken about the future of your servant’s dynasty and have chosen me as an important person, Lord God.

18 What more can I say to you for honoring your servant? You yourself know your servant. 19 Lord, for your servant’s sake and according to your will, you have done this great thing in order to make all these great things known.

20 Lord, no one can compare to you, no God except you, just as we have heard with our own ears. (1 Chronicles 17:16-20, Common English Bible).

“I was the only person ever to serve as governor of two states as well as in Congress from both. My Indian name was ‘Coloneh’ but they also called me “The Big Drunk.” I was first a Protestant then a Roman Catholic and then a Protestant again. Who Am I?”

“I was one of the twelve disciples. I am only mentioned three times in the Bible, each time I am bringing someone to meet Jesus. One of those three walked, with Jesus, on water. Who am I?”

It’s a game many of us played as children. I even wrote a sermon  using the idea once when I was preaching on Jesus’ question to the disciples, “Who do you say I am?”

I always loved that game when I was a kid. I guess I still do but if I was actually to play the game I think I would make the clues considerably more difficult.

That is the way we often think of the question when we read “Who am I?” But there is another. It is the way Casting Crowns means the term in their popular song by the same title. The song says, in part:

Who am I, that the lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

I think King David would agree with their words. Part of today’s Journey Through Scripture readings is “David’s Song of Praise.” He begins it the same way. “Who am I, Lord God, and of what significance is my family that you have brought me this far?” David asks a really good question.

Who am I that God would care about me? Who am I that God would call me? Who am I that God would bless me in so many ways? Who am I…

I think I hear it more often in a still different way. “Who am I to deserve the destruction of my home in a tornado?” “Who am I to deserve this illness?” “Who am I to have to put up with this ungrateful person?” I can think of about ten parents and a whole bunch of kids in Santa Fe Texas right now that could ask the same question. The list of those who am I questions could go on almost as long as the who am I questions that are part of that kid’s game. Do you think you don’t hear those questions? Try it this way, “Why me?”

Don was a member of one of my churches early in my ministry. I never knew Don when he was well. He died shortly before I moved away. Don told me once, “When I first got sick I used to ask the question, “Why me?” (It could have been who am I to get sick?” Then one day, it dawned on me, “Why not me?”

David asks the question, “Why do you give me more than I deserve?” I think sometimes we ask the question, “Why don’t you give me what I deserve?” Friends, I really don’t think any of us want that.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyrigh 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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