Sunday, September 8, 2013

Centrality of Grace

Sometimes, I'm not a particularly good Episcopalian. Actually, *frequently* I'm not a good Episcopalian. I spent way too many years of formation in the Protestant wings of the Church to ever feel very comfortable with the half-and-half theology that is the charism of my denomination. And it works. Much of our strength is in our inclusivity, and it is part of what gives us joy, that we are all, no matter our history or our views, members of the Body of Christ. Yay, go team!

But some times, I am reminded of the core of my faith is different than much of my community. Because the tradition I come from, and the center of my relationship with God in Christ, is in grace. 

Nadia Bloz-Weber was on NPR's On Being this morning, and having to interupt in the interview for church, I downloaded the podcasts. She's an ELCA pastor, and my heart remembers with longing and joy my life in that denomination, and how the faith of that community fits with my own. In the interview, she talks about the centrality of the doctrine of sinner and saint - that we are all both simultaneously the greatest of sinners and saints of God. That God's grace is sufficient, God is all-knowing and unknowable and *still* that grace is enough.

Our acceptance of others into our community is an expression of grace, our response to God asking us to leave our judgements at the door, as God sees each as they are and who are we to judge? God meets all people where they are. But I miss the centrality and explicitness of the doctrine of grace in my faith community, because it is so central to my own understanding of who we should be as a Christian community and as individual people of Christ.

We are, as the body of Christ, both the instruments of grace and the objects of it. And I needed that reminder, that God knows me as I am, as I was created to be, and there is grace enough for that person. That I have a place, a calling, and that even if I screw this up royally, there is grace. Always enough and more.