As they [the men I met in a prison chapel I visited] spoke, I could not help but think of the present-day church, which ofttimes places a greater premium on building buildings and personalities than on building transformative communities. I thought of churches that commit more to the concern of getting you “saved” than to entering into the various struggles of life with you, as well as churches more interested in what you can give rather than teaching you how to live faithfully for Christ in the world.
I soon recognized that within this transformative community of open dialogue and mutual sharing, these men [prisoners] had achieved that which has proven to be a great challenge for many churches today: beloved community … As the insiders spoke of how they were being made new within this faithful community, supporting and holding one another accountable each step of the way, I witnessed hope that we can rise above our worst selves toward the fulfillment of our better selves as never before!
—Michael W. Waters, Freestyle: Reflections on Faith, Family, Justice, and Pop Culture (Fresh Air Books, 2014)
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Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Help my generation rise to meet the challenges of our day with courage and integrity. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Through rich and moving stories of people from various faiths, author Frank Rogers Jr. shows ways to incorporate compassion in our daily lives. Start practicing compassion with Rogers in our Academy Recommends eCourse.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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