Jun 10, 2022 |
Rector's Blog: Conversion| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Rector's Blog: Conversion
Understanding that conversion is ongoing is a game changer. It undercuts any unspoken belief in an easy answer, a quick fix, instant solution. You and I were born to love and be loved. And at the same time, our lives are filled with obstacles and barriers – things that keep us from living into that beloved reality. So we yearn for a moment, an instant, a blink of an eye where the obstacles just disappear. Many Christians have been sold the snake oil that if we just believe the right thing, pray the right prayer, act the right way – if we just “convert” or “get saved” – the barriers to belovedness will be banished.
This is not real. And when we acknowledge that our conversion - the opening of our hearts to the presence saving love of God in the world – is a lifelong process, we begin to embrace the reality of Christianity as a practice rather than a set of magical escapist beliefs.
When I got to this church, there was an old man here named Chet. Many of you knew him well. He was a leader, a rabble rouser, a prayer warrior, a seeker, a smart-ass, and a true patriarch of our community. I loved him instantly, and I was not alone in that. One Sunday, when I walked into the room for our Adult Education hour, he barked, “Hey, there’s that guy who talks about love all the time!” I said, “That’s me!”
“When are you gonna talk about something else?” Chet asked, and I said, “When you all actually start believing that you’re loved no matter what, I will start talking about something else.”