Sunday Before Advent: Christ the King

Christ the King

Ezekiel 34:11-16,20-24
Matthew 25:31-46

God the Father,
help us to hear the call of Christ the King
and to follow in his service,
whose kingdom has no end;
for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, one glory.

Today is the final Sunday of the church year; this is New Year’s Eve! Happy New Year!

This Sunday is a hinge that helps us to look in both directions: firstly pointing to the end of time when the kingdom of Jesus will be established in all its fullness to the ends of the earth. Secondly, it points us to the immediate season of Advent, the beautiful time of expectation and preparation as we look ahead to celebrating the birth of Jesus. In both directions we are reminded that Jesus is King.

Christ the King is a recent addition (1925 so very new) to the church calendar and a Roman Catholic one at that! Pope Pius XI instituted this Sunday in response to issues he was facing in the Catholic church and in the civic life of Rome as secularism was growing in wider society after World War 1.

There was an enormous crisis of faith and many people left the Church (both Catholic & Protestant) in Europe in the wake of the First World War. The men had left for war and they did not come back; and the women left the church and God. This context led the Pope to establish Christ the King Sunday as a reminder of Jesus’ power and authority above all else.

The Bible is full of reference to kingship. In the Old Testament, God warned the Israelites about the dangers of a human king but they insisted. God yielded and Saul was anointed as the first king of Israel. In the New Testament, the earliest followers of Jesus were looking for him to be a king who would smite their enemies and bring Israel back to prosperity. Again a need for a very human king.

However, both the Old & New Testaments offer a vision of a king like a shepherd. The sheep are a metaphor to represent the people of Israel. They are God’s flock and they are a mix of strong and weak sheep.

Sheep are not the brightest animals in creation, they are not able to take care of themselves the way other animals can, you cannot teach them tricks, they need a lot of care and attention and they need to be guided. Hence the need for shepherds.

God acts as the shepherd for his people; he will search and seek out the lost, the lonely and the oppressed. He brings back the strays, strengthens the weak, binds up the injured. He feeds them, he will make them lie down – 23rd Psalm anyone? This is a picture of a King who gets deeply involved with his mixed flock of strong and weak out of deep love and concern.

Both readings present a King who judges as there is inequality in the flock. There are both strong and weak sheep living together. The strong are not looking after the weak the way that they should. The fat sheep are the ones who butted the weaker animals, took their food, and tread down the pastures for their own gain. The fat took advantage of the lean by mistreating them and will be punished for this.

Regarding judgement, we need to hold on to some important truths: God does not judge the same way we do. I am very glad of that. God judges out of love; not hate or pride or envy. For this King love and judgement go together. We need to remember that we will be judged by the same standards that we judge others.
We all make judgements every day. I also know that the standards that I hold myself to are far less than the standards I hold other people to.

We do need a God of judgement; otherwise He quickly becomes ineffectual and untrustworthy. If God did not judge between the two what is He saying?

To the fat sheep: you can do whatever you like to serve yourself without consequence. I do not love you so I will ignore what you do.

To the lean sheep: you are not worthy of help. I do not love you enough to want to help you. You are on your own.

This is similar to the picture of judgement in Matthew’s Gospel. The separation of sheep and goats seems to emphasise that ultimately every person on earth will be called to account for the use of the opportunities to serve others. It also suggests that there will be some surprises. People who did kind things for ‘insignificant people’ will find that what they did was done to God himself. Other people will be punished for failing to make use of opportunities to serve the lowly and thereby failing to serve God.

The world does not operate as it should. It does not take much imagination to work this out. We do not treat people as we should; whether that is the people next door or the people on the other side of the world. The injustice in the world is rampant: socially, politically, and economically. We have active global examples at present.

It is not all bad news though.

It might be helpful to hold that this is not the full picture of judgement. This passage only deals with works not grace, faith or the atoning work of Christ.
Works are the evidence on which people will be judged here, not the cause of salvation or damnation. It is common to all of scripture that we are saved by grace and judged by works. The works we do are the evidence of either the grace of God at work in us or of our rejection of that grace.

Out of love God wants the fat sheep to care for the lean sheep; to share food, protect them as he does. Love your neighbour as yourself! We will be judged on this. We have a King of love and of judgement. Whatever season of life we are in, we have a King who loves us and will defend us. This will come to pass at the end of time.

As we look ahead to the imminent Advent season, we celebrate the first coming of Jesus, the Son of God. Who was born into the world as both God and man, died so that our sins may be forgiven and rose again so that we may live with him forever. We also look forward to his glorious return at the end of time. Advent helps us to remember that God is present in the world today.

The Advent season falls at the darkest time of the year, and the natural symbols of darkness and light are powerfully at work throughout Advent and Christmas. We may live in dark times but the light of Christ will show us the way.

But we do have to wait. Wait with expectation and anticipation. We wait in the light of new hope. The King is Coming.

2nd Before Advent: What Are We Supposed to Do?

The parable of the Talents,
Stained glass executed by Clayton & Bell, London,
For St Edith’s Church, Bishop Wilton,

2nd Before Advent

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30

We seem to be in in-between time on the calendar; both the church and in life. The days are shorter and darker. The weather is grey and miserable. Remembrance Sunday has passed.

Have you put up the Christmas decorations yet?
When should you do that without judgement?
Has the Christmas pudding started?

We seem to be waiting around for the next thing. There is a vagueness to everything. You come to church and we are faced with these seemingly dire readings all about the end times and gnashing teeth. Is that what we are waiting for?!

Both Paul writing to the Thessalonians and Matthew’s account of Jesus’ parable speak to the return of the Lord. The second coming of Jesus. This is what we are preparing for during Advent; God’s return. Yes we spend time preparing and celebrating the birth of Jesus. The bigger picture is God’s return for the second time. Not many people spend much time considering or imagining this event.

After the resurrection everyone (the gospel writers, Paul and the disciples, members of the new church) thought Jesus was coming back imminently. Yet here we are two thousand years later, still watching and waiting. Like the Thessalonians, we do not know the day or the time. Paul and Matthew are concerned with what people do in the meantime. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to put on the breastplate of faith and love, a helmet for the hope of salvation. Paul wants them to encourage and build each other up.

Jesus is coming back, and it matters what was done in his absence. This is true for us too, how are we doing in the meantime? Are we being foolish or wise, investing, hiding or squandering?

Matthew 25, like many of Jesus’ parables, can be read on several different levels and it needs careful attention. As a reminder, Matthew has this parable set in the last days of Jesus’ life. Generally people say some really important things as the end of life nears. This is not an easy parable nor is it made any more comforting by the times we find ourselves living in.

We could read this parable as a call to do more with what God has given us. It does not matter how much (think time, money, gifts, resources) we have been given, just do more with it and be smart about it. Again, if we do not use it, we will be punished.

The tension here is that, given the current situation with post-Covid, cost of living among many factors, many people cannot volunteer or contribute their gifts for the service of others as they may previously have. Should they be made to feel guilty? Punished for what is beyond their control? There is a difference here between inability to help and serve and being unwilling to help and serve.

In Jesus’ parable, the man (master) is going away for an unknown amount of time. He calls his servants and gives them each a talent of silver; but he does not give them any instructions about what to do with the talents. Why not? The man knew his servants, he had worked out what each would do with the talents given.

Through the actions of the first two servants who invested their talents, we can see that they knew their master. Even without explicit instructions, they knew what was expected of them and what would please their master. It is doubtful that these two slaves understood the motivation of their master but possibly suspected that this was some kind of test.

The third slave and the master know each other too. There is dislike and mistrust between them. The master does not trust this slave as much as the others. The slaves’ response is to focus on the negative, what he did not have, did not get and blamed the master for that.

The master replies by pointing out that the slave did not try, did not seek out what he (the master) wanted. Instead of trying to please or get to know his master, the slave gives up and buries the talent. When the master returns to his home, the third slave knows that trouble is coming so tells his master what he thinks of him. This slave had decided a long time ago that nothing would please his master so gave up trying.

Many people can relate to the third slave, that nothing they do is ever good enough, so why try? This is applied to God too. I’ve heard things like, ‘God has never bothered with me, so why should I bother with him?’ or ‘if God is so good, then why did x, y, or z happen?’

Questions like these often come from a place of deep hurt and carry some honesty. However, many people who tend to blame God for their misfortunes, do not seek after him in the first place. Assumptions about who God is and what He is like are often wrong and based on circumstance and feelings rather than knowledge and relationship.

When it comes to talents, by this I mean our gifts and skills; they have come from God. They are given to be used, we are stewards of them, not the owners. The owner is God, and he expects us to use his gifts wisely. Gifts, like the silver talents of the slaves, increase with use. To use them wisely and to the glory of God, we need to know the giver, the true owner of these gifts. God has a genuine and vested interest in what we do in his name.

If we seek to know God and his will for our lives, we do not need to worry about the outer darkness. We are all going to have to account for what we have done with what has been given to us. It does not matter how much; this is not a competition.

If you feel that God was stingy or somehow passed you by when handing out your gifts, seek him, ask him! God knows you, knows your capacity, He also loves and understands you. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to: ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’

The problem is not that Jesus did not know the slave or does not know us. The problem is that the slave, and us, do not fully know who Jesus is. We need to work to correct this imbalance. This is my prayer and hope for this upcoming Advent season; that we will find time and effort to deepen our relationships with God.

For the other slaves and for us, knowing Jesus is a positive, life-giving, life-affirming experience. It is an ongoing and ultimately loving relationship with the Father who loves us more than we can ask or imagine, who gives good gifts for the benefit of all. Let us not waste what God has given each of us, we can work together to build each other up. We can seek the Lord while he may be found, we need to build each other up for the day of the Lord in coming.

Trinity 20: What does belong to God?

Trinity 20

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

How are you with handling tricky situations? We can all find ourselves in them; hopefully not too often. Some people are quick on their feet and can get themselves out without much fuss. They have an ability to say or do the right thing just at the right time. Many of us probably fudge our way through, praying the situation will end quickly. If you are like me, you will think of a brilliant rebuttal after the situation is over and then wish you had said whatever it is when you had the opportunity.

It is one thing to watch a politician squirm on breakfast television as they get pressed for an answer and something else to be on the receiving end of a trick question. This is where Jesus finds himself in the Gospel reading this morning.

Last week’s Gospel reading was a parable of Jesus; the wedding banquet for the king’s son, where none of the invited guests attended. This week’s reading is a real-life situation. Matthew sets these parables and events in the final week of Jesus’ life as chapter 21 has the palm-waving, triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. These are some of Jesus’ final messages; understanding this helps us to experience the urgency in the tone. This story also appears in the Gospels of Luke and Mark as well. When accounts and parables appear three times and even four – you know that these are significant!

On its face, this passage from Matthew’s Gospel is about taxation. A very exciting topic! It is also a divisive topic as there are likely many different opinions on the subject in the church this morning as there would have been 2000 years ago. The Pharisees and Herodians were looking for ways to expedite Jesus’ arrest and devise their clever question to him, ‘Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ History tells us that this was a trick question.
The Jews of the day were deeply unhappy at paying taxes to Rome; it was a hot topic. Imagine how you’d like it if you woke up one morning and discovered people from the other end of the world had marched into your country and demanded that you pay them tax as the reward for having stolen your land! (Tom Wright, Matthew for Everyone, volume 2).

This question puts Jesus in a lose-lose situation; He knows that this question comes not from curiosity but from malice. In his very typical Jesus way, he responds to a challenge with an even greater challenge. Jesus takes a Roman coin, bearing the image of the emperor, and answers, ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ This is not the answer that was expected.

Jesus is not saying there are two distinct realms, the religious and the secular, and that both require equal loyalty. Jesus is saying that the hated coin already belongs to the emperor, his face is stamped on it; so give the emperor what is his. There is a much harder and more complicated question to answer: What belongs to God? Everything.

From the very beginning we were created in God’s image. Go back to Genesis. As we were created by God, his image is stamped in us, we are God’s image bearers. Like the coin with the emperor’s face that belongs to him, we belong to God. We are far more valuable than an old Roman coin. This also means that we owe God everything, our whole and entire selves. It is a fairy tale to think that we can divide up the sacred and the secular. We cannot separate them when everything already belongs to God.

God knows how much tax you pay, he knows down to the last pence what is in the bank or under the mattress. More frighteningly, God knows how and on what you spend your money; along with your attitude towards it. This is not a Stewardship sermon, I promise! However, you will hear me say this more than once but the most honest document you have is your bank statement and/or credit card bill. Think about that for a moment.

These statements are recorded proof of how you spend your time and your money. If you really want to know someone, ask to see their bank statement! This is also true for a church. If I want to know what the priorities of this church are, the bank statements are very helpful.

What does it mean to give to God what belongs to God in these challenging times? How can we be God’s image bearers while families and communities are struggling, while war wages in the Middle East and Ukraine, poverty is on the rise and all the other things that are troubling us? If everything does belong to God, then our spiritual, Christian lives and our secular (political, work, social) lives must agree.

How we behave at work, must be the same as we behave at church. How we love our neighbours, as difficult as they can be, must be the same as how we treat ourselves. Whatever we render to Caesar must always take second place to what we render to God.

What is God asking of us? The words of the Shema from Common Worship sums it up rather well: Our Lord Jesus Christ said; The first commandment is this: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians (modern day Thessaloniki in northern Greece) he expressed his relief that the church had survived some recent attacks. Paul is trying to encourage and reassure the church family to continue to stand firm in their Christian faith.

Paul lists all the things that he is thankful for; their faith, all the labour done in love, steadfastness of hope in Jesus. The Thessalonians have faced some hard times, as had Paul and Jesus. Paul is clear that there is more to the story, Jesus is trying to convey that in his parables and teaching in the last days of his life.

When the questions are tricky and the future seems bleak and the weight of the world is bearing down we can find our refuge in Jesus. He is everything. Love God. The emperors and their reigns in this world are temporary; we are to give the emperor what belongs to him. So yes, pay your taxes. Remember that God’s reign is eternal and encompasses everything. Give to God what is God’s. Give God everything. He gave everything for us.

Trinity 19: First Sunday in New Parish! Important Invitations


Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14

Good Morning! It is wonderful to finally be with you! Thank you to everyone who has made me feel very welcome since I moved to Charlwood and especially at my licensing service on Tuesday. Many of you will know that I am also the Lead Chaplain of Gatwick and that started this past week too. The plates are already spinning!

Part of moving and starting something new usually involves invitations. My airport email has received a steady stream of invitations to various events and meetings. I have also been extending invitations to the Church Wardens and some key volunteers to meet with me. I did notice that party invitations have been lacking – but that too will be rectified.

When we invite someone to an event, we expect a response. Preferably yes and yet ‘no I cannot attend’ is an acceptable answer. To receive no response is generally unacceptable and often seen as rude. It is often more painful to have our invitation ignored or dismissed than an honest ‘no I cannot’.

Some invitations are more serious than others and have farther reaching consequences. I received a letter this week from the Diocese of Southwark inviting me to participate in a couple of events in the first year of my incumbency. There was a lovely description of one event; I would meet new colleagues and get some core skills training on a residential course at the lovely Diocesan retreat centre. They even have two potential dates to attend, whichever suited me better.

The invitation ended with the following: The Bishop of Southwark has a firm expectation that all new incumbents will attend this programme. This is an invitation with expectation and consequences.

Our Gospel reading this morning is one of those parables of Jesus that is not so easy to understand and certainly less easy to preach about! That does not mean that we can avoid or ignore the bits that we find difficult. The parables of Jesus are meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. This one certainly does. Parables are also meant to show us who God is and who God is not.

Many people would read this parable as God playing the role of the king. Jesus is the king’s son whose wedding it is and the Jewish people are the guests that are invited but do not show up and then get killed for it. The people who are rounded up at the last moment, the unwashed good and bad, are us Gentiles. This understanding, while neat and tidy, flattens this story and avoids looking at what it is really about.

The other problem with this flat reading is what it says about God. Is he really a tyrannical king who kicks out the guests when they turn down his invitation to be killed in the streets while the city burns? I think not! If we believe that God is our loving Father who ultimately wants what is best for us, the idea that He is like this king is wrong.

Where does that leave us?

Jesus is comparing the invitation to the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son and the invited guests did not come. Maybe we have invited family or friends over for a meal or a party and they did not turn up. Maybe they forgot, or there was a falling out or they got a better offer.

Both of these invitations have consequences; for good and for bad. This is what we do not like. I volunteered as the Police Chaplain for Thames Valley in Slough for the past 5 years. It was a fascinating role! Ultimately the police are dealing with the fallout from the consequences of people’s actions; generally the wrong ones. People resist arrest, do some crazy things not to get caught; all in a bid to avoid the consequences of their actions.

If you invite someone over and they don’t turn up; there are consequences. You have wasted your time cleaning and cooking; you have spent money on food and drink that might go to waste. Likely your feelings will be hurt at the lack of consideration and respect shown. While annoying, these consequences are not life threatening, salvation and eternal life is not at stake.

The consequences to the refusal of the invitation into the kingdom of heaven are far more severe. There is a sense of anger and urgency in Matthew’s story (maybe this is what makes this parable hard to understand). Part of the anger is generated at the beginning of the scene.

The King is throwing a party for his Son, it will be glorious and spectacular, a big celebration, people would beg, borrow and steal to get an invitation. Yet the invited guests do not seem to care about their current and future King. What should have been party time turns into a war zone. This rejection of him is both personal and corporate; they not only reject him but their share in the future nation he represents. The murderous response to the king’s slaves shows the depth and nature of human hostility towards God.

The second point of anger comes out of the sense of urgency in that the banquet is ready to start. The food is on the table and the drinks are poured. There are some cultural considerations here: invitations would have already been sent and accepted. Prior to email invites, calendars and clocks, second invitations to a feast were usual. They took a long time to prepare so it was helpful to be notified again.

The customary second invitation, this time with a specific message, is sent and on this occasion the people would not come. The people will never again get invited to a royal wedding. The invitation has been rejected. Not only do the people not come, they do not care.

The King, however, does not give up. He throws open the invitation to all. It is unconditioned, but it is not unconditional. Consequences remain. Just as the wedding guests must dress in an appropriate way for the feast; repentance and faith are needed to enter the kingdom of God.

In telling this parable, Jesus is warning his disciples against a naïve underestimation of the power of sin. Some people will experience ‘the outer darkness’ for failing to accept the invitation. Throughout the parables in Matthew 21 & 22, Jesus wants his audience that they are in real danger of passing up their chance to share in the kingdom of God. Jesus and the kingdom of God go together and cannot be separated.

If you reject the Son, you reject the Father, the King. Many of those listening to Jesus, like the invited guests, did not want to believe this.

Do you believe this? How are the churches of St Nicholas and Emmanuel handling the invitation to join in the kingdom of God? Are we extending the invitation to both the good and the bad? I ask this both as individuals and worshipping communities. Will we accept it? Will we put on the right clothes and attend?

St Augustine reflected on this passage, ‘the garment that is required is in the heart; not on the body.’

We should consider the words of St Paul in his letter to the Philippians when extending invitations: let your gentleness be known to everyone, do not worry about anything, pray and ask God with thanksgiving.

As I begin my ministry here and at Gatwick, I want everyone to know that they are invited, are welcome. Not only to church but into the kingdom of God. No one is beyond God’s reach or falls so short of Jesus’ love – despite what they may have been told or believe about themselves. I do not want anyone to be thrown into the outer darkness, neither should you.

Let us not be deceived. The invitation is there, we are all on the guest list. We need to be dressed and ready. Ready to be changed into the people God made us to be, ready to celebrate and share in the Good News. The banquet is set and ready. Are we?

Trinity 12: Remember Who You Are!

Frieth 9:00 P&P
Trinity 12

Isaiah 51:1-6
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20

Growing up, I would say that I was a pretty good kid: a reasonable student, polite, well behaved, didn’t get into much trouble, etc. This carried on largely into my teenage years with the odd scrape, of course. Becoming a teenager means doing things independently of one’s parents and exploring nightlife. I grew up in a small town, so it did not take long to explore! Once curfew times had been negotiated and I got ready to go out, my Dad would almost inevitably say ‘Susan, remember who you are.’

Man! Sometimes it really bothered me! Especially if I had not fully disclosed where I would be going or what I would be doing that evening. This was my Dad’s way of telling me to behave, to remember how I had been raised and what was acceptable behaviour.

There were times when that sentence would pass through my mind; and I believe steered my behaviour. As I grew up and matured, I have come to realise that ‘remembering who I am’ is a very valuable thing to know.
In the Gospel reading this morning we are asked to consider who Jesus is. This is a pivotal moment in Peter’s life and in the lives of the disciples.
Why is Jesus asking this question?

Over the last few weeks in the lectionary we have been talking about weeds, wheat, pearls, treasures, mustard seeds, bread and fish. These are all stories about Jesus taking very little of something and making it very, very big. The miracles displayed in these stories show us God’s power displayed through Jesus in the provision and generosity given to those who choose to follow. These stories are pointing to the person of Jesus and who he is.

One of the recurring themes throughout these readings is Jesus having to continually prove himself to the disciples and the crowds. They are still doubting as they do not yet understand who He is and what he came to do in the building of the kingdom of God.
Up to this point Jesus has been seeking to prove his claim of messiahship through words and deeds. Now it is time to see if the lesson has been learned. Jesus starts with a ‘public opinion’ survey: ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’

It seems like a bit of a random question. Might have seemed that way to the disciples. No doubt that Jesus already knew the answers but wanted to hear it from them. Jesus is given a variety of public opinion answers and this opinion is divided. Some say he is John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.
These answers are interesting; people did not think of Jesus, meek and mild; not the cosy friend of little children. He is categorised as one of the wild prophets of the Old Testament. One who stood up spoke the word of God fearlessly and against the rulers of the day.

Then Jesus cuts to the heart of the matter: “Who do you say I am?” Suddenly there is no public opinion to hide behind. They must make an intelligent, personal choice based on the witnessed miracles and heard messages.
Take a moment now and consider that question for yourself. Jesus is asking you ‘Who do you say I am?’

This is an answer with not only eternal consequences but with consequences for the everyday trials and triumphs of walking around on this planet.
Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God’. An answer which gets him some serious praise and blessing. The importance of Peter’s answer is that he acknowledged that Jesus was not just God’s mouthpiece against injustice and corruption, but that Jesus was God’s Messiah, God’s king.

Who is Jesus to you? A good moral teacher? Jesus meek and mild, the baby in the manger that seems to stay there? Jesus on the cross who doesn’t seem to get down. Jesus the Prince of Peace, wonderful counsellor, Mighty Saviour, Name Above all Names.

Jesus had a word for Peter after his announcement. Tom Wright said: ‘if Peter was prepared to say that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus was prepared to say that, with this allegiance, Peter would himself be the foundation for his new building. Just as God gave Abram the name Abraham, indicating that he would be the father of many nations, so now Jesus gives Simon the new name Peter, the Rock.’

Peter went on to do just that. This was not without trials and tribulation for Peter. As we know he denied Christ before the crucifixion and had to live with that guilt and shame. Never forget that Jesus restored Peter on the beach.
This is really helpful for as and when we forget who Jesus is. We, like Peter, can be restored to the body of Christ. We need to take ourselves to Jesus, ask for forgiveness and start again.

It is through God’s grace that we have been restored and redeemed and it is also through grace that we have been given the gifts of God. Anyone need to hear this today?

In the Romans reading we are reminded that we are one body with many members and being members of one another.
We have been given gifts: ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading and compassion. This list is by no means exhaustive and there are many, many more gifts of the Spirit. As I begin to reflect on my time in the Hambleden Valley, I am astonished by the diversity of gifts and talents across the parish. I am so grateful for the generous sharing of these gifts.
These are the gifts that we need, our families, friends and the wider world need us to use. The body of Christ is desperately needed! This is why we need to know who Jesus is: we are part of his body. Therefore best to know something of the person in whom we dwell and dwells within us.
By knowing who Jesus is we can have a clearer picture of who we are. We can remember who we are and who we were made to be when we know who Jesus is. The beloved children of God.