How many passwords do you now have? Or strings of numbers that allow you access to money or information?
They are very much electronic fingerprints, enabling us to authenticate who we are.
I guess it all started with National Insurance numbers, and with the computerisation of the tax system, just before it was about to collapse under the weight of its own ledgers, we have arrived in the information technology age.
The next generation of phones may possibly have a sensor on them that detects your fingerprint, you know, and will only work for you. your password will have changed from being an electronic to an actual fingerprint.
I don’t know whether you would welcome that, or whether it moves you towards panic!
When I started as a curate, I had the opportunity to go to try out Greenbelt for free as a clergyman. to qualify for this offer, I had to send proof that I was indeed a rev. And I actually, short of sending in my license, with its red wax stamp, didn’t really have a way of proving it. In the end a letter from my training incumbent sufficed!
In general we are designed to live and work by trust and goodwill. This allows us to be human. It is why crime and sin de-humanise us. Passwords and proofs do the same, as they encourage mistrust.
Unsurprisingly, to rescue us from the demise of sin, Jesus requires us to do nothing other than trust. By trust we enter into trust. We learn to live by faith. The Bible says this is how life should be.