“What it would be like to have a catalog of experiences or songs or images that could trace the development of your faith? The smell of an old church, the pastor’s embrace, the sunburn and cicadas of a week at summer camp: all of them leading you and changing you until you find yourself here.”
“The problem with families is that they’re hard to get into and impossible to get out of. This is also their gift; that’s a topic for another sermon. But if the mission of the church really is reconciliation… then small, incomplete notions of unity like family and friendship and country may need to die back so that something more expansive, something more universal can take their place. Something like the Body of Christ. Something like the Kingdom of God.”
We don’t have to be perfect. God knows all too well that perfection is not achievable this side of the grave. But we can cultivate a heart willing to do God’s will and obedient to God’s commandments. That’s something all of us can do. That’s why being part of a community of faith is so important. We need one another for support and encouragement in those moments when we falter. We aren’t called to embark upon this journey by ourselves.
Our call is not just to long for better angels in our nation, but for us to get about the business of being the better angels.
“Sometimes prayer is understood as a way of getting out of whatever your vision of eternal torment might be. Sometimes prayer is understood as getting God to give us what we want. But Jesus seems to tell one curious disciple that prayer can be a way to change what we want.”