by Stassi Cramm
Have you recently been hurt in your congregation because you felt like your ideas or ministry gifts were not valued?
Have you experienced frustration over the inconsistencies between what you interpret the Scriptures call us to be and how we behave as a faith community?
Have you dared to wonder if being associated with Community of Christ is really helping you and your family live as faithful disciples of Christ?
These are the types of feelings that I often hear expressed when I listen to the young adults of Community of Christ in my role as the young adult functional apostle for the Council of Twelve. Yet in the midst of this hurt, disappointment, and questioning, I also hear a deep desire to make things better. I hear people desperately wanting to be part of something that makes a positive difference in the world. I hear people yearning to faithfully respond to God’s call to help create Christ’s vision of Shalom NOW.
So how do we reconcile the tension between the hopeless feeling that we can’t make a difference and the inspiring feeling that we are ALL called to be part of the solution? Answer: By being vulnerable to divine grace (D&C 163:10b).
Interestingly enough, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “vulnerable” as either “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or open to attack or damage.” This conjures up quite an image of what being vulnerable to divine grace might mean. Will divine grace attack or wound us? I sure hope not. However, I suppose that any time we open our self up to change such as new ways of seeing or interpreting the world then we are open to interpreting this change as “attack” or experiencing this change as a “wound.” And divine grace is always calling us to continue becoming all that God created us to be both individually and collectively (i.e. changing).
Personally, I have never liked the image of being vulnerable. Being vulnerable has always felt a bit too risky for me. However, the invitation to be vulnerable to divine grace has really challenged me to continue to grow as a disciple in a good way. So will you join me and others in taking the risk of being vulnerable to divine grace?
How might we be vulnerable to divine grace? Well, it will probably take me a lifetime to answer this question but here are a few starter ideas:
- Study, embrace, and internalize all that is expressed in the summary of our Community of Christ identity, mission, message and beliefs, “We Share.”
- Come to the Temple or join via webcast and actively listen to the challenge of Prophet and President Steve Veazey on Sunday night, April 5, 2009 at 7pm CDT.
- Connect to the world church through the various online subscriptions available for weekly devotions and news.
- Respond faithfully to where you sense the Spirit leading you as you express the principles in “We Share” and as you are challenged by President Veazey.
- Act locally by continuing to engage within the life of a Community of Christ congregation near you. Or if you just can’t connect there, then contact your mission center president, mission center young adult minister, or mission center missionary coordinator and ask for ideas of where you can connect.
May God bless us all as we take the risk to be vulnerable to divine grace.