My response to the recent disaffiliation of a former congregation from my tribe has been gratitude for clarity–theirs and mine. My clarity is this: For the rest of my days on earth I will seek to err on the side of inclusiveness. Thus, I’m drawn to a community of faith whose mission is to be An Open Place for All.
It’s a humble clarity. My transformation is far from complete. I’m a work in progress. My constant challenge is to be open, to be inclusive. God’s not through with me yet.
Richard Rohr’s May 16, 2022 Daily Meditation referred to Jesus’ risky path, which has allowed him to be interpreted in so many different ways. … Why do we think we have a right to certainty or complete clarity? This is the necessary and good poverty of all spiritual language. … Jesus never said, “You must be right!” or even that it was important to be right. … Jesus offers himself instead as “way, truth, and life” (John 14:6), and … it all becomes about the sharing of our person instead of any fighting over ideas. Some people will meet that statement with resistance and criticism because we feel so much more in control when we are right than when we are in right relationship.
Such admitted poverty in words should keep us humble, curious, and searching for God, although the history of religion has been quite the contrary. In fact, what we have largely done … is talk about …things like finances, clothing, edifices, roles, offices, and … a sense of certitude, order, and control. In my experience, the people who find God are usually people who are very serious about their quest and their questions, more so than being absolutely certain about their answers.
From “Two Kinds of Confidence,” by Michael Gillis, Ancient Faith Ministries, March 26, 2015