“Who am I, Sovereign Lord?”

                 by Clarence Rempel, WDC Conference Minister

Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?

The breakfast II Samuel 7 Scripture reading from Rejoice was perfect for preparing my spirit for Thanksgiving and Advent. “Who am I that you have brought me this far?”

The prophet Nathan had just reminded King David of his humble beginnings – “This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock.” I identify with those rural beginnings which for me were tending chickens and cattle, not sheep and goats. I am amazed at the rich educational opportunities I have had in Christian formation experiences in Bible college, in theological development in seminary, and in exposure to flourishing churches all across the United States in D. Min. studies. I am amazed at the beautiful partnership in life and ministry with Amanda that God has granted. I am delighted with my four children, two inlaws, and two grandchildren with whom I will feast this Thanksgiving. I am exceedingly grateful for the most meaningful life vocation of shepherding God’s flock (I Peter 5:2). I am amazed at having a role in God’s cosmic redemption plan of reconciling all peoples to God’s self and to each other and of restoring all of culture and creation to God’s shalom. “Who am I?”

Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?

King David’s question was evoked by what we now recognize as a Messianic promise. “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (II Samuel 7:16). That promise seemed hopelessly lost in 400 years of kingless survival in exile and back in Palestine until the angel surprised Mary of Nazareth. “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David….his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33).

Mary also seemed to wonder, “Who am I? How can this be that I would be the mother of Messiah?” She quickly recovered her voice of thanksgiving. “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant….the Mighty One has done great things for me….His mercy extends to those who fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:47-50).

May you know God’s saving mercy and restorative blessing this Thanksgiving and Advent as you reflect on this question:

Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?