The landscape we have been traveling through together these past many months is exceedingly complex. The constant disruption and shifting ground easily wears on us, and most of us are tired.
In the midst of this complexity, I have found it helpful to remember that the Christian life is actually remarkably simple.
We are called to simply practice the way of Jesus: to dwell in scripture, to commit to daily prayer, to worship together in whatever way we can, and to join the Spirit in forming communities of love and justice with those who have been pushed to the margins. We join the Spirit in transforming the world with love by simply offering our lives over to God in each ordinary, mundane moment.
At convention next week, I will outline several priorities that I hope will shape our life together in the years to come. As I have gotten to know all of you, the longing I have heard over and over, in so many different ways, is for a return to the basic practices of discipleship, to simply root ourselves deeply in the person of Jesus so that we can live the Jesus way of life in the world.
I believe that the best way we can navigate our complex and uncertain future is by returning to the liberating simplicity of apprenticing our lives to Jesus and his way of love.
One of my dreams for ECMN is for this to once again become a primary and singular focus in our life together. It’s only from a place of deep and committed discipleship that we will be able to faithfully do the work of adapting to our changing church and world, join the Spirit in dismantling racism and building beloved community, and offer our neighbors vital, loving, and vibrant communities of faith.
It’s simple, but it’s not easy.
It will require our best efforts together. It will ask each of us to give our whole life over to God’s grace. But in the midst of a complex and broken world, when we lose our life in this way, we will gain the abundant life Jesus promises. In the midst of our weariness, we will be set on fire with God’s liberating and inexhaustible love.
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
X Bishop, The Episcopal Church in Minnesota