During his opening sermon at the recently concluded 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, invited us all to take up Jesus' Way of Love by embracing and engaging in seven faith practices: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, and Rest. (What follows are brief reflections on these practices that I am sharing with my congregation. For more information on The Way of Love, including helpful resources, a video from Bishop Curry, and how to share your own experiences of these practices, click here.)
Turn: Pause, listen, & choose to follow Jesus
We hear a lot about turning, especially during the season of Advent. John the Baptizer appears in the wilderness, encouraging his hearers to repent and turn back to God in order to "prepare the way of the Lord". This kind of turning, or "re-turning" - that is, repentance - in Greek is called metanoia, which literally means "to be on the side of understanding". John baptized those who accepted that call. Candidates for baptism in The Episcopal Church are asked, "Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?" and "Will you persevere in resisting evil and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?" Clearly, turning is not a once-and-done action. We choose, again and again, to follow Jesus. So pause in the busyness of your day, and take some time to listen for that “still, small voice”. How is God’s Spirit moving you to follow Jesus?