“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine.“– Isaiah 43:1b
I recently went on a college campus visit with my daughter.
I checked into the hotel on campus and rode the elevator up to the fifth floor. What met me when I stepped off the elevator was a foyer with a large red wall. A large horizontal mirror hung over a long table which was decorated with a vase of red, white, and tan flowers. Two plush chairs with plump red pillows sat to one side. Once in my room, I noticed the red accent wall behind the bed headboards, a red leather chair, and red bolster pillows on the beds. A red folder on the table held room information.
Red was everywhere!
As we meandered around the campus, red and white colors jumped from every corner. Whether it was the color of student’s sweatshirts walking by, coats, jerseys, flags, banners, or other decorations, you could tell the brand was ingrained all around you. Later that evening, we went to the college bookstore. Red and white screamed from all sides, as we wove our way through displays of coffee mugs, pajamas, socks, hats, overalls, blankets, banners, key chains, baby clothes, and even dog collars! The college mascot and colors were everywhere!
I reflect on this now, in my red-less environment: I truly witnessed a college who knew beyond a shadow of a doubt who it was and was devoted on all levels to its brand. Though commercial in nature, and beyond the issue of dollars, it was evident that the school wanted to create an atmosphere of belonging: “You are one of ours”.
I am reminded of all the ways that God gives us a sense of belonging and shows us who we are—through baptism, communion, church fellowship, discipleship, and even our future lives with Him. We are marked with the cross of Christ forever. We are God’s children. And His banner of love surrounds us. His creation is evidence of His “brand”, who can behold a sunset or mountain top or gurgling creek or newborn baby without sensing the divine in some way?
So let’s lean into our belonging and brand: God’s love. Let’s enthusiastically share His banner of love with others. Let’s get excited about His work in our daily lives, and let’s share and serve a hurting world, so they might catch His love too!
Prayer– “God of All, thank you for calling me by name and saving me. Open my eyes to see your work in this world, so that I might share your banner of love with others and help them see that they belong to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”