Everyone knows how superheroes have a dual identity: publicly they’re the mild-mannered clerk or the humble nerd, but privately they put on the super suit and put their super powers to work to save humanity. Thus, every superhero story is a story of the struggle for identity and transparency.
A temptation that every Christian faces is that of dividing life into two identities. You act as one kind of person privately and another publicly. You put on one face at home and another at school or work. Perhaps you do it to avoid the scorn of being known as a believer in Christ. Perhaps you do it because you are simply conforming yourself to the expectations of others without really holding for yourself to what others expect of you. Perhaps you do it because you don’t really know who you are. Perhaps you do it because you love yourself far too much.
This is to say that a great challenge for every Christian is to live with integrity, to be genuine, to honor the Lord and love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength whether at home or at school, whether in private or in public because your first loyalty lies with Him, because you know that all things will be brought out into the light at the judgment, and you are living coram Deo, in the face of God here and now. Integrity. Being true with all your heart and mind to what your Lord says is true of you, honoring Him in how you think and how you speak and how you behave because what is chief in your heart is His good pleasure, not your own self-expression. The opposite of integrity is hypocrisy.
And all of this is to say that here at the Communion table of your Lord you find your true identity. Here at this table you find a strong defense against hypocrisy, and you find a gracious empowerment to have integrity because here at the table of your Lord He tells you who you really are. You who partake have been baptized into the body of Christ. You are the ones for whom Christ died. Taking up this bread and cup, you are the ones for whom this body was pierced and this blood was spilled. You belong to Him. Your life is not your own because you were bought at a price. You are a Christian. You do not determine who you are. Your Lord does. So you must be true to what He says about you.
Eating this bread and drinking this wine is a public act, in fact the most public of acts, as you eat and drink in community with other Christians, in the face of the world. This public act of eating and drinking is what establishes your identity. So to this identity be true. This is who you are, so be true to what God says about you in both private and in public, at home and at school and at work. There is not a dividing line between worlds for you. If you eat, then you are His, and you must live under the watchful eye of His good pleasure at all times.
So let us all take up this bread and cup thankful for how He marks us out from the world as His own. And let us be true to our Lord as we live in Him by faith.
Come, let’s taste and see that the Lord is good