Discipleship Practices: Turning

goodfri“God loves you just the way you are, but God’s not going to leave you that way.” – The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry

“The church is always nurturing the seeds of a critique. We can’t help it. The critique is there in the story.”     – Unapologetic, Francis Spufford, p. 186 

We follow the teaching of Jesus Christ by being open to repentance, transformation, and call, trusting in our capacity to move and change. The word “turning” springs from the New Testament word “metanoia,” meaning a change of mind that bears fruit in a changed life. 

We turn by becoming followers of Jesus, whether that is the ongoing work of a lifetime, the shattering transformation of a moment, or some of each.

We turn by forgiving others, and by recognizing our own need to repent, seek forgiveness and make amends. We turn back towards God when we have turned away, re-orienting ourselves towards what is important, true, and life-giving. Like the Prodigal Son, we come to ourselves and realize we can walk away from the mess of our lives and back towards our loving Father.

We turn our hopes and struggles over to God, trusting God’s grace as we acknowledge the limits of our strength, vision, and will.

We practice reflection, repentance, and renewal, individually and together.  We turn by allowing ourselves to be shaped and guided by grace; by being attentive to the voice of the Spirit, in things great and small;  by being able, sometimes, to pray “Thy will, not mine” and mean it; and by allowing the love of Christ to expand our capacity to love.

We turn by practicing discernment and making ourselves available to God’s purposes; by seeking God’s direction in our lives; and by daring to respond to God’s call into new endeavors.

We turn by practicing generosity, recognizing that all that we are and all that we have belongs to God, and responding with gratitude.

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