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A New Identity
Scripture: You have been born anew…through the living and enduring word of God.
1Peter 1:23
Often the idea of being “born anew” is seen as a solitary, discrete act between an individual and God. But in 1Peter 1:17-23, we are reminded that our new life and new identity in Christ are not separate from our communal lives. In fact, it is our collective identity as followers of Christ that sets us apart, through our “genuine mutual love” for one another (1Peter 1:22). This communal love characterizes our new identity in Christ.
Almighty God, let our lives in our communities reflect the knowledge that we are your chosen people, seen in our deep, abiding love for one another. Amen
Alexis Presseau Maloof, Peoria, Illinois
Presbyterian Publishing Corp.
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ﻳﻮﺣﻨﺎ 8:1-11 Arabic Bible: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV-AR)
المَرْأةُ الَّتِي أُمْسِكَتْ فِي الزِّنا
8 أمّا يَسُوعُ فَذَهَبَ إلَى جَبَلِ الزَّيْتُونِ. [a] 2 وَفِي الصَّباحِ الباكِرِ ذَهَبَ إلَى ساحَةِ الهَيْكَلِ ثانِيَةً حَيْثُ جاءَ إلَيْهِ الجَمِيعُ، فَجَلَسَ وَبَدَأ يُعَلِّمُهُمْ. 3 وَأحضَرَ مُعَلِّمُو الشَّرِيْعَةِ وَالفِرِّيْسِيُّونَ امْرأةً أُمْسِكَتْ وَهِيَ تَزْنِي. وَجَعَلُوها تَقِفُ وَسَطَ النّاسِ. 4 ثُمَّ قالُوا لِيَسُوعَ: «يا مُعَلِّمُ، أُمْسِكَتْ هَذِهِ المَرْأةُ مُتَلَبِّسَةً بِجَرِيْمَةِ الزِّنا.» 5 وَقَدْ أوْصانا مُوسَى فِي الشَّرِيْعَةِ [b] بِأنْ نَرْجُمَ مِثلَ هَذِهِ المَرْأةِ، فَماذا تَقُولُ أنتَ؟» 6 قالُوا هَذا لِيَمْتَحِنُوهُ، فَيَكُونَ لَهُمْ ما يَتَّهِمُونَهُ بِهِ.

لَكِنَّ يَسُوعَ انْحَنَى وَبَدَأ يَكْتُبُ عَلَى الأرْضِ بِإصْبِعِهِ. 7 وَلَمّا ألَحُّوا فِي السُّؤالِ، وَقَفَ وَقالَ لَهُمْ: «حَسَناً! مَنْ كانَ مِنْكُمْ بِلا خَطِيَّةٍ، فَلْيَكُنِ البادِئَ بِرَمْيِها بِحَجَرٍ.» 8 وَانحَنَى مَرَّةً أُخْرَى وَأخَذَ يَكْتُبُ عَلَى الأرْضِ.

9 فَلَمّا سَمِعُوا هَذا، بَدَأُوا يُغادِرُونَ المَكانَ واحِداً بَعْدَ الآخَرِ بَدْءاً بِالأكْبَرِ سِنّاً. وَبَقِيَ يَسُوعُ وَحْدَهُ مَعَ المَرْأةِ الواقِفَةِ أمامَهُ. 10 فَوَقَفَ يَسُوعُ وَقالَ لَها: «أيْنَ هُمْ؟ ألَمْ يَحكُمْ عَلَيْكِ أحَدٌ؟» 11 قالَتْ: «لا أحَدَ يا سَيِّدُ.» فَقالَ لَها يَسُوعُ: «وَلا أنا أحكُمُ عَلَيْكِ. فَاذْهَبِي وَلا تَعُودِي إلَى الخَطِيَّةِ فِيما بَعْدُ.»

Footnotes:
ﻳﻮﺣﻨﺎ 8:1 جَبل الزَّيتون. تلَّةٌ شرقيَّ مدينةِ القدس.
ﻳﻮﺣﻨﺎ 8:5 أوصانا … الشَّريعَة. انظر لاويِّين 20: 10، تثنية 22: 22.
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Followed
Scripture: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
Psalm 23:6

In this world of social media, new words are created, and existing words take on an added meaning. "Selfe" is a new word in the world of social media.
While the number of followers I have on my social media might make me feel like part of a community, the most important thing in my life is having God's goodness and mercy following me. It is good to count on God's goodness and mercy to follow me all the days of my life. No matter what circumstance I may encounter, I am empowered by this knowledge.

Lord, I wish to follow in your footsteps of goodness and mercy as I serve you in this world. Amen.
Yena K. Hwang, Fairfax, Virginia
Presbyterian Publishing Corp.
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