Being Sacredly Formed
"We have grace to share." That statement emerged early in Epiphany's discernment process. Grace speaks of a God who exudes love, forgiveness, and acceptance of all, and the unshakeable hope of the empty tomb that once held our Lord Jesus Christ. Grace serves as a response to the stressed situation in which people live and how we can truly experience God as God really is.
Being sacredly formed means to own and live out our identity as persons created in the image of God. It is the ultimate freedom. It is where life and purpose and the hope for the world are all found. The prototype is Jesus. When we want to know what life in the image of God is we look at Jesus. If we want to know how God intends for us to live, we imitate Jesus. We become his disciples, which means that we do what Jesus does.
The calling and identity of the church is to be a "witness to the recurrection" (Luke 24, Acts 1). This is not about being eyewitnesses; they all died in the first century. So this is not about reporting facts. As witnesses to the resurrection, our lives, individually and as a community of faith, disclose the changed situation and triumphal bursting forth of life, hope, joy, grace, courage, and love made manifest in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We live knowing that God finally gets what God wants in the end. Instead of being bystanders, we are co-creators with God.
If the "end" is the redemption of all creation, to be "co-creaters" means that we participate in the present as if the future is happening right now. We work to wipe tears. We work to end suffering. We work to bring people together. As we do, we are being formed in the sacred image of Christ.