An open letter to the church

Jaymee Glenn-Burns

10/10/2017

How do we learn what it means to love God and neighbor in this mixed up, messed up, infinitely beautiful world?

Dear Church,

I need your help.

Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires.  Creation is groaning with anguish.  What can I do to “till and keep” this earth that is our home?

I am white, cis-gender,* heterosexual, well-educated, born in Iowa.  I have known privilege all my life.  What does that mean for how I live?  How do I understand Jesus’s words, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded” (Luke 12:48)?

Friends and colleagues who are people of color, LGBTQ, speak other languages, or come as immigrants encounter daily obstacles and discrimination that I have never faced.  How do I love the stranger and sojourner?  How do I love my neighbor?

I long for security and comfort in a world that is quick to tell me which possessions  will make my life easier and how much money I need for retirement and what kind of protection will save me from disaster.  How do I sort out my fears from my genuine needs?  How do I know how much is enough?  How do I learn to trust God for my security?

The news tells of vast chasms that divide us around politics, race, theology, wealth, and more.  How do I practice both compassion and justice?  How do I make peace and not simply avoid conflict?

Help me, Church.  I cannot figure this out alone.   I’m too scared to act by myself.  I treasure a community of Jesus-followers who learn and practice together what it means to love God and neighbor in this mixed up, messed up, infinitely beautiful world.

Dear Church, help me be a disciple.  Love, Jaymee

How does your faith community help people navigate these and other hard questions of living daily as disciples who bear witness to Jesus in the world?

*cis-gender:  people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth

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