I am a Christian because I believe in the transformative power of Christ. There is no other way for me to say it. Without transformation, “being a Christian” is just talk.
Transformation means being wrong. It means vulnerability and openness. It means admitting that maybe you aren’t a complete, perfect, finished product – that maybe there’s another way to be, another way to see, another way to live. To be Christian is to live in Christ, but where does Christ dwell? The broken places, the hurting places, the places just waiting for new life to spring forth.
Transformation means stepping outside of our comfort zones and trying something new. Transformation doesn’t always have to hurt, but it often does in some way or another because something old has to die away for the new to really take hold and live. When we talk about a successful life, or what it means to be happy, no one ever says they want to be uncomfortable, in pain, or on the edge of the unknown. Instead, we want order, understanding, clear paths, calm waters… And yet, as we learn from our book of faith, it is in the chaos that God creates. It is within the chaos that God creates order. It is when we are brave enough to step to the edge of our understanding and knowledge that God’s wisdom takes over.
Every time we practice forgiveness, we are transformed.
Every time we practice prayer, we are transformed.
Every time we practice Eucharist, we are transformed.
Every time we practice living in community, with people we don’t even really like; or, when we take the time to hear another’s story, no matter how different from ours it may be; when we take the time to learn what we have in common with another; when we take the time to say maybe we don’t control all that we think we control… we are transformed.
“The more I decrease, the more You increase.”* That’s transformation.
I am a Christian because I believe the Story isn’t finished yet. I believe that the Resurrected Christ’s transformative work is alive in the world, cultivating peace, weaving harmonies, building bonds of love, showing another way. When we believe there is no other way, when we believe the story is over and there is no possible way to be changed, or see things in a new way… we are in hell. When we live in transformation together, we practice heaven on earth and heaven lives among us.
* John 3:30