“Why Christian?” – A recent conference

The conference name and a question I’ve pondered drew me to this event along with 18 ECLCers who were part of a thousand folks from many denominations across North America. We gathered to listen to a dozen diverse women speakers around one big question, “Why Christian?” The speakers beautifully, articulately and openly shared their vulnerability, pain, struggle and doubt around their faith journeys. It was uplifting, inspiriting and left imprints on our hearts. Some of their words give a flavor of the event.

“Christianity gives “a frame of grace through which to see the people we can’t stand. This faith leaves us incapable of seeing the other as anything but a child of God.”

“The great struggle of the Christian life is to take “God’s name for us, to believe that we are a beloved child of God.”

“This is a faith that breaks us open with pain for the world.”

“How are we nurturing a spiritual practice of discomfort in our congregations?”

“I want to participate. I want to engage in hope and I don’t want to do it alone.”

“Being a Christian is living at the fulcrum of your fear. That is where Jesus does his best work.”

“Christianity gives me a name that supersedes any other name the world will give me. I am a beloved child of God and no sin or accomplishment can change that.”

We know that God speaks in many ways and through many religions. Some of us choose this one because we are drawn to this Jesus, who we so imperfectly try to follow.  This Jesus who showed us how to live and love and care for others. This Jesus who assures us again and again-- you are a beloved child of God, you are welcome, that ALL are welcome.  We are wrapped in grace forever and always. As one speaker put it: “I’m a Christian because, hard as this story is to believe, it’s one I’m willing to risk being wrong about.”

- Carol Bungert