Dear traveling companions,
Now and again, I realize I am not as young as I used to be. These moments happen randomly–when I am halfway through trying to repaint my living room in an afternoon, when I determine to lose five pounds, or when I am stranded on the top of a roller coaster with my 16-year-old granddaughter. Last week, I experienced such a moment. After an especially long day at work, I arrived home late and headed back to my closet. As I passed the bathroom mirror, I glanced at my reflection. I confess that I stopped, turned full-face to the mirror, squinted, and said out loud, “Who is that person?” Sometimes I forget that I’m not as young as I used to be.
James, the writer of the general epistle that bears his name, talks about being hearers of the word versus doers. Eugene Peterson translates James this way: “Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like” (James 1: 23-24, The Message.)
It seems to me that culture, both inside and outside the church, is holding up lots of mirrors these days. Everywhere I look, someone is clamoring to help me understand my identity, what I “look like.” The cacophony can be deafening. Do you ever grow weary of the noise?
A few months ago, I invited the Board of General Superintendents to write an entire issue of Holiness Today on Christian identity. To my delight, the board graciously agreed. You will find in this May/June issue a collection of articles written in their distinct voices and from their unique perspectives about what it means to be children of God in Christ Jesus. Together, these compositions form a rich and compelling collection of insights straight from the hearts and experiences of our leaders. I am deeply grateful for their powerful reminder that the axis of my life must remain “Not I, but Christ.”
Because the Holiness Today team believed the current issue on Christian identity was so important, we chose this month to launch our newly improved website, holinesstoday.org. There you will find the articles by members of the Board of General Superintendents as well as our regular columns featuring Dr. Tom Noble, Nazarene Archives, Research, and others. We are thrilled to let you know that the new website includes the HT content in three additional languages—Spanish, French, and Portuguese! We celebrate the opportunity to engage in a whole new level of conversation with our dear brothers, sisters, and ministry partners around the world. Thank you, Jeff Beam and the Global Ministry Center IT team, for making possible a brand-new ministry avenue via holinesstoday.org. We appreciate you and the work you do every day.
Friends, I expressly pray that you will be blessed beyond measure by the exhortations in these pages.
Bonnie Perry is editor in chief of Holiness Today.
Holiness Today, May/June 2022