Use brightly colored tablecloths. Sprinkle confetti on the tables and use signs indicating “Happy New Year” as centerpieces. Copy the phrases from “Who I Am in Christ” from the following website and post on the wall. https://equippinggodlywomen.com/faith/who-i-am-in-christ/
Reflection Activity 1: My Identity in Christ Mirrors
Print and handout a copy of the statements from the website “Who I Am In Christ.” Supply each woman with a small mirror. Instruct them to carefully read through the handout and think about what those phrases mean in their life. Ask them to pick out the words or phrases that they needed to hear. Write those words or phrases on the mirror. Instruct them to take their mirror home and put it in a place where they will see it daily. As they look in the mirror, it will remind them of who they are in Christ.
Reflection Activity 2: My Identity in Christ Scripture Writing Plan
Ahead of time, print and give each woman the “Who I Am In Christ Scripture Writing Plan.” It is available at: http://www.swtblessings.com/search?q=Who+I+am+in+Christ . Supply each woman with a journal. This could simply be a notebook from the 99-cent store. On the handout, you will find one scripture passage for each day of the month. Each passage deals with our identity in Christ. Read and write out Day 1 in your journals while together. For the rest of the month, read and write out the verses listed each day. Pay attention to who God says you are in His word.
Who God Says I Am
Have you ever tried to move forward while looking backward? Can you imagine trying to drive while focusing solely on the rearview mirror? It wouldn’t work. You would end up crashing into something. Yet this is what we often do with our lives. God has forgiven us, cleansed us and made us each into a new creation. He has put us each on a new path and given us a fresh purpose, but when we should be moving forward, often we are stuck in the past.
It doesn’t help that we often have people in our lives who bring up the past. They say things like: “Don’t trust her. She’s an addict.” Or, “Watch out for her. She has a bad reputation.” Some of us have “friends” who throw our newfound faith in our faces. Their favorite phrase is, “I thought you were a Christian.”
I’m sure Mary Magdalene had a lot of such people in her life. We don’t know a lot about Mary Magdalene except that Jesus cast seven demons from her (Luke 8:2). I imagine people would walk by her and whisper under their breath, “She’s the one who was full of demons.” Perhaps mothers would grasp their children’s hands a little tighter or tell their daughters, “Don’t be like her.”
But that is not how God saw Mary Magdalene. When we look through the pages of the Gospels, we see that God had other plans and purposes for Mary. After her encounter with Jesus, she was a changed woman. Here is what we learn about Mary Magdalene from Scripture:
- She was one of the women who travelled around Galilee with Jesus supporting His ministry financially (Luke 8:2-3).
- She was one of the women at Jesus’ crucifixion who came to take care of His needs (Matt. 27:55-56).
- She was at the tomb looking on when Jesus was buried (Matt. 27:61).
- She was one of the women who went to the tomb early on the first day of the week to anoint Jesus’ body with spices (Mark 16:1).
- We also learn from Mark 16:9 that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first after His resurrection, and she was given the task of telling the disciples that Jesus was alive.
Think about that: Mary Magdalene went from being demon possessed to being divinely purposed. If you are a follower of Jesus, that is your story too. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLV). The next time someone tries to drag you down and remind you of who you used to be, or the next time you find yourself stuck staring in the rearview mirror of life, remind yourself who God says you are right now.