Excerpts #5

Conversion isn’t, after all, a moment: it’s a process, and it keeps happening, with cycles of acceptance and resistance, epiphany and doubt. As I struggled with bread and wine and belief over the following year at St. Gregory’s, it stayed hard. I began to understand why so many people chose to be “born-again” and follow strict rules that would tell them to do, once and for all. It was tempting to rely on a formula – “accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior,” for example – that became itself a form of idolatry and kept you from experiencing God in your flesh, in the complicated flesh of others. It was tempting to proclaim yourself “saved” and go back to sleep.

The faith I was finding was jagged and more difficult. It wasn’t about abstract theological debates: Does God exist? Are sin and salvation predestined? Or even about political/ideological ones: Is capital punishment a sin? Is there a scriptural foundation for accepting homosexuality?

It was about action. Taste and see, the Bible said, and I did. I was tasting a connection between communion and food – between my burgeoning religion and my real life. My first, questioning year at church ended with a question whose urgency would propel me into work I’d never imagined: Now that you’ve taken the bread, what are you going to do?

Sara Miles, Take This Bread, pg 97

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