Repentance as turning to others can be a fraught enterprise. It involves our deepest vulnerabilities, our fears and hopes for the relationships that make up our human communities.
When we turn back to God’s grace, we are reminded again and again that we are not ultimately defined by the best or the worst of our own actions–we are defined by the name we received in baptism: child of God. Secure and trusting in this foundation of grace–and our place of belonging in the body of Christ–we can turn without fear not only to God, but to our neighbors. We can face the truth of the “things we have done, and things we have left undone,” because our new orientation opens our hearts and minds outward to see our purpose in the whole body and our opportunities to care for others.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “Turning to others” by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni in the October issue of Gather magazine. Today we remember John Wesley, who died in 1791; and Charles Wesley, who died in 1788; renewers of the church.
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