I am about to take a school trip to Normandy on a residential trip and as you can imagine, the paperwork that has to be completed with such a trip makes the idea of a ‘paperless office’ quite laughable.

One of the things I have had to do is organise a ‘collective passport’ for the pupils so that they do not all have to take individual passports. That involves pupils and parents giving identity details to the Passport Office so that identity cards can be issued. Date and place of birth must be given, along with any passport details they already possess; there are additional questions to be answered if the child was born outside the U.K.

The question of identity always interests me, especially since, as Christians, we are citizens of two kingdoms: the kingdom of earth and the kingdom of heaven. I have a note at work which reminds me “We are children of God. Our identity must always be rooted in who we are, not in what we do.” It’s so easy to find our sense of identity in our jobs, in our functions, in what we do rather than in who we are. Value and worth are so often tied up with activity, not being.

The pupils on my trip have their U.K. identity stamped on these identity cards which allow them to travel freely in the European Union. It’s much harder at times to find and accept our God-given identity, but we need to do so if we are to live as God wants us to.

“I’ve been looking from the outside, outside
I’ve been walking on a straight line, straight line
Scared to let the world see my failures, who I am, or who I’ve been.

I’ve been waiting for somebody else to
Take the chance that I am so afraid to
I don’t know how to find myself: am I the only one, the only one?

Oh, I wanna feel You move me like a river running through me
I am so tired of trying to prove it.
I’m never gonna do it alone:
God, I need You to be my identity.

It’s always easier to hide behind that
Camouflage that keeps our hearts so guarded
But there’s no shame when we surrender everything to You
Everything to You.

I want to see the world change, see the system cave in
You pull our hearts from the ashes
The cry of the captive is rising.” (Kutless, ‘Identity’)

Kutless, ‘Identity’