Over the course of the day, despite feeling tired through broken sleep, and a nagging aching hand due to a bike accident last week, I’ve been carrying an inner smile. The reason? Well, my football team secured its first victory of the season last night, after the most difficult starts to our latest campaign. Despite still languishing on minus 5 points at the foot of our league table, nevertheless it feels good to be a (Bolton) wanderer again, not least as only a few weeks ago there was a very real prospect of not having a club at all. From the age of 5 (and despite living in Liverpool at the time) Bolton Wanderers have been my club, through thick and (mainly) thin, and quite an important part of my identity.
Last Sunday, in the second of our series looking at the armour of God, as portrayed at the end of the letter to the Ephesians, we continued to study what marks us out and protects us as Christians. Whilst the concept of the “breastplate of righteousness" might initially assume there is an expectation that our actions are under scrutiny, we learnt that this reassurance is more to do with who we are than what we do. We are righteous (right with God) through what Jesus has done rather than as a result of any of our our actions. As such, our identity is established, and anything that might threaten us and challenge our heart can be countered by knowing “who we are, and whose we are!”.
Those who’ve seen my Twitter posts may have seen that listed amongst my various “loves” are among others God and Bolton Wanderers. I have to say in all conscience I can only recommend to us all the former upon which to base our affection and our identity, knowing that in God that love can be two way, loving us as we love in return. May we know we are loved, and abide in in His love this week.