The Power of Introductions

The moment comes.  Maybe a friend is introducing you to someone new.  Maybe you are introducing yourself.  But the moment comes.  You stretch out your hand and say…

What.  What do you say?  There is power in introductions.  You may only have a moment to make an impression and what you say matters.  Most of us introduce ourselves in a way that most closely identifies us.  We think it is important that we are a mother, father, spouse.  In most cases that comes later and we identify with what we do – lawyer, pastor, business owner, etc.

I’ll confess.  I used to enjoy being introduced as the senior partner of a successful law practice.  There is impact in that introduction.  But I was wrong.  That introduction made the meeting about me.  I don’t want life to be about me.  I want life to be about the Author of Life.

Have you ever thought about how God introduces himself?  Introductions matter.  In Psalm 68:5 God introduces himself as, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”  Think about all the ways God could introduce himself and rather than it being about Him, he identifies with the fatherless and widows.  Perhaps it is not surprising that His son would introduce himself in a similar way.

Jesus was God wrapped in human flesh.  So the God-man stood in the temple in Nazareth to announce the start of His earthly ministry.  Jesus introduces himself by saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18.  Jesus identified himself with the poor, the oppressed, and needy.

When I was no longer able to introduce myself as a senior partner of a successful law practice, God gave me a new identity.  His voice was consistent with His character.  When I cried out, “What am I doing here?”, my crisis in identity, God responded, “My will, for whatever you do for one of the least of these you do unto me.”  A reflection of Matt. 25, God’s response was simple.  Bruce you are not here to build your kingdom.  It’s not about you.  It’s about Me and My kingdom.  And though I am God, I became a humble servant.  I love the least, the last and the lost.  Do you?  If you do then you will do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before me.  Perhaps appropriately this story is in the introduction to Gospel Justice.

Today the introduction I try to make is that I am a servant who loves God and loves his neighbor.  I don’t always succeed in that.  Sometimes pride creeps in and I want to list awards, a book, a title.  But honestly I really love God and I love the broken people He came to die for – including me.  I think the greatest power of introduction is when we are truly introduced to God.  Consistent with His character, I think he would tell us a story of a broken man who needed help and some people passed him by.  They did not do unto the least of these.  But one person stopped.  Oh he was the least likely to do so.  Aren’t you?  I’m sure you are busy, I’m certain you have other important things to do.  But will you stop to serve one of the least of these.  Will you introduce yourself to a hurting neighbor as a fellow broken sinner who loves God and loves them?

That might be a short conversation with God, but He will look you in the eyes and ask you to do His will.  He will ask you to

Go and Do Likewise.