Who we are is about our relationships

The Right Reverend Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes
The Right Reverend Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes

It’s popular these days to look within to find the ‘real you’.

But sometimes what you find when you take a look isn’t a ‘you’ that you’re very happy with.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, “The line between good and evil passes not between nations but every human heart.”

Finding ourselves is not a task best done alone. Who we are is about our relationships, obligations and life experiences, not just what we choose for ourselves.

It’s also about our place in the community, both present and past.

One of the reasons Church of England Christians in Sussex are just starting a year of the Bible is because of the big story it tells.

We understand ourselves as part of this big story.

Christians believe that our most fundamental identity is to be found in our relationship with God.

Out of that grows an understanding that we aren’t as we should be. What we find within may need affirmation, but it may need repentance so it can be dealt with and changed though God’s forgiveness.

We aren’t the finished article, but through God’s grace we are not what we were, and look forward with hope to the real us that we are becoming.’

As part of the Year of the Bible, the Diocese of Chichester is releasing a number of resources available to individuals, churches and organisations. There’s a link to them here: http://www.chichester.anglican.org/bible/

Right now there are some reflections on this season of Advent written by Dr Martin Warner, the Bishop of Chichester. You can also find links to help teach the Bible to children, to the Bible Society, and a series of Daily Bible Readings from the charity, Christian Aid.

Further resources will be added over the course of the year to help people from all sorts of backgrounds to connect with the Bible and its big story.

You can look out for events connected to this theme where you are, throughout the next year.