Why I Am a Christian

This month, Patheos has invited its many, faith-diverse writers to contribute to a new series called “Why I Am A… in 200 words or less.” Here is my response. Read more responses to the question here.

While there is a sense in which our faith is an accident of birth, it is also the gift of providence and choice. As a teenager, I traveled to the far country of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Native American spiritualities. I still travel as a spiritual pilgrim to that far country as a global Christian, for whom Christ is the way that embraces all life-transforming pathways.

Raised a small town Baptist, I found my way back to Christ through practicing Hindu Transcendental Meditation and discovering a church that where I learned to join contemplation, action, and reflection. I claim Jesus Christ as my guide, teacher, healer, savior, and companion in healing the Earth. I find the stories of incarnation and resurrection invitations to abundant life. I embrace a God who is embodied, loving the world enough to suffer with it and transform the world through loving companionship, and who saves the world by bringing forth life out of death each moment and at the end of our earthly days.

To be a follower of Jesus opens me to truth, wisdom, and healing everywhere, and wherever I find truth and healing, it is shaped by the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ.  The God revealed in Jesus of Nazareth loves us into life, constantly awakens us to new possibilities, and invites us to experience life in the midst of death. In the God revealed in Christ, I experience this world as holy and discover divinity in every moment of experience.

Everlasting life is the hope we have for ourselves and for our loved ones, and it is also the present reality of God whose wisdom is revealed in every event and whose heart beats in our hearts luring us toward love, beauty, and justice. I am grateful for my birth in a Christian home, my journeys through the Great Wisdom Traditions, ancient and modern, and the faith of Jesus that is new every morning as the source of life, adventure, and possibility.

About Bruce Epperly

Rev. Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., serves as Pastor at South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Centerville, MA. Prior to coming to Cape Cod in 2013, he served on the faculties and often in administrative and chaplaincy roles at Georgetown University, Claremont School of Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Bruce is currently a professor in spirituality, ministry, and theology in the doctoral program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. He has served as pastor or interim pastor of congregations in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of over 35 books in the areas of theology, spirituality, ministerial excellence and spiritual formation, scripture, and healing and wholeness, including Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God; Finding God in Suffering: A Journey with Job; From Here to Eternity: Preparing for the Next Adventure; and A Center in the Cyclone: Clergy Self-care in the 21st Century.