Whether or not others might call me a Christian is up for grabs, but I belong to a faith tradition formed and steeped in the idea of self-denial for love of the neighbor and rooted in community. Just by the nature of my baptism I am part of a distinct and storied community whether I like it or not, whether I acknowledge it or not. I belong to a tradition that tells me my life is not really my own but rather is caught up in the divine and communal life of something much bigger than myself. I am a character in a story I did not write, and there are many other characters in addition to myself who are equally important. But these are all tenets I find hard to swallow on a daily basis. I prefer the parts of the tradition that talk about grace and God’s forgiveness of us and the fact that none of us can ever really measure up to perfection. These parts offer me the illusion that I am off the hook from striving to be something I obviously was not cut out to be—holy.
—Enuma Okoro, Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community (Fresh Air Books, 2010)
Which parts of your faith tradition do you easily acknowledge, and which ones do you find hard to swallow? Join the conversation.
Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.
—Galatians 6:2 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Forgive me when I am reluctant to engage as you call me to do. Surround me with a faith community that encourages and challenges me to participate in God’s unfolding drama.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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