Why I Feel at Home in Community of Christ

30 10 2012

BY JOHN S. WIGHT, senior president of seventy

One reason John Wight feels at home in Community of Christ is the invitation to others to experience the joy, hope, love, and peace of Jesus Christ through the sacrament of baptism.

In response to the question of why I feel at home in Community of Christ, it would be easy simply to say it is because of my family heritage in the church. Or I could answer that it is because I am the son of an appointee minister and never have known anything else. Or I could mention all the people in various parts of the world who have embraced me, literally and figuratively, and made me feel “at home.” Those statements would be true to a point, but my reasons go much deeper.

From an early age, I have felt deeply connected to Jesus Christ. Various experiences have convinced me of his divinity. His life and teachings give life meaning and purpose. I am extremely grateful for the ways the Holy Spirit has touched me through the years to let me know a creating and living God loves me.

But I have encountered many Christians from numerous denominations who could say those same things. So, why DO I feel at home specifically in Community of Christ?

First, I feel called to be a part of this movement. I have been blessed to be exposed to various world religions and other Christian denominations. However, my testimony is that God has called me to be a part of this body of disciples. This sense of call causes me to feel “at home” here.

Second, I find that what Community of Christ stands for makes exciting sense to me. The message of God’s kingdom on Earth, the peaceable kingdom we call Zion, captured me in my childhood. To this day I react at a deep emotional level when I think of Jesus’ message of peace for people individually and at an all-inclusive, corporate level; that it is possible on Earth right now, not just in some realm after death. The fact that the pursuit of peace is at the heart of who we are allows me to feel very much “at home” within this body.

Third, the combination of our Enduring Principles and Mission Initiatives offers me a framework within which I feel completely “at home.” These concepts are something of a recipe in my thinking, mixing together all the best parts of Jesus’ message and mission.

I am especially “at home” with the Enduring Principles of Worth of All Persons and All Are Called. It is easy to feel “at home” in a movement that recognizes these principles and strives to live them out. I also am “at home” with the belief in Continuing Revelation—the recognition that God continues to reveal God’s self as we journey together.

Finally, striving to live out these principles especially causes me to feel “at home.” When I see the many ways my sisters and brothers in Christ have reached out “to the bruised and brokenhearted as well as those enmeshed in sin” and lovingly accepted them into fellowship, my heart leaps for joy, and I feel “at home.”

When I see what those transformed lives have brought into the fellowship, I feel “at home.” I am so very grateful to feel accepted, to feel at home, as part of a team of loving followers of Jesus Christ that strives every day to be the kingdom of God on Earth.

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