And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 (New International Version)
Why am I so anxious? This question chases me around, for at least a little while, every day. I was raised on hefty doses of Philippians 4:7. I’ve heard hundreds of sermons on the peace of Christ. I’ve taught Sunday School lessons on the peace of Christ. I love the communal response: “May the peace of Christ be with you.” “And also with you.” (And I’ve discovered it’s a nifty way to bring order to a room, if there’s enough current or former Episcopalians present!)
So, why am I so anxious? I think I know the answer, at least intellectually. It takes a life time for Julian of Norwich’s declaration to soak down into our bones: All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. I’ve come to see how hard it is to settle into this faith while surrounded by a culture that measures success by production and consumption.
I’ve been teaching a class at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Waco, America) for the past three years. This Spring the group has asked me to help them wrestle with how we can take the next steps in taking faith into our worlds in concrete and practical ways. I’m considering a number of approaches to our study, and I’ll be starting with a consideration of the chart below. I’ve been playing with the concepts of mature, functional, and superstitious religion for years, and this chart is an attempt to capture my thoughts.
So, anyone in the Waco area is welcome to join us in the St. Paul’s parlor, starting at 10:00 a.m.