Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation
Struggling with Christianity
Struggling with Christianity

Living Our Faith in All Circumstances

Friday, May 27, 2022

Wherever we are on our journey with Christianity, Brian McLaren invites us to return to the instructions given by the Hebrew prophet Micah: “O human being, this is what God desires for you. That you do justice. That you love kindness. That you walk humbly in the presence of your God” (Micah 6:8). Brian writes:

Micah turns a religious question into a human question.

Christians very much like to call Jesus the Son of God. Jesus much preferred to call himself the Son of Man (or son of humanity). There are many layers of meaning to the term. But the simplest and most obvious is this: a son of humanity is a human being. If you want to put a finer point on it, son of means the essence of or perhaps a new generation of. Jesus is saying that he represents the essence of humanity, a new generation of humanity, a new kind of human being. In this light, his constant invitation, follow me, means imitate me and join me on my journey toward a new way of being human. . . .

In that light, whatever you choose to call yourself, Christian or not, I hope you will aspire to be a humble human being . . . religiously. . .

I hope you will desire to be a kind human being, because . . . that person you call your enemy . . . that person is part of your family, part of your species, part of your story, part of your kind. . . .

And in addition to being a humble and kind human being, I hope you will aspire to being a just human being. Don’t seek power over others to control or exploit them or harm them. Instead, use whatever power that comes your way for the common good, so that all people everywhere can share equal justice and equal dignity. Seek justice. Love justice. Do justice. Be a just human being . . . religiously.

When I say religiously, I mean intentionally, seeking out practices that promote justice, kindness, and humility. And I mean collaboratively, joining or building communities or networks that promote those practices. And I mean reverently, knowing how precious this heartbeat and this breath really are, and feeling every moment how much danger and opportunity are held in these human hands. Religiously, as I’m using the term, means with a sense of the sacredness of everything and a commitment to re-consecrate everything.

In the midst of uncertainty for what the future of Christianity holds, Brian invites us to continue what he calls “our spiritual quest”:

To become the most just, kind, and humble version of ourselves that we possibly can, day by day . . . to practice a faith that expresses itself in love . . . to lean with others into a new humanity, a new generation or new kind of humanity, open to every good resource that can help us, explicitly Christian or not.

Brian D. McLaren, Do I Stay Christian? A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned (New York: St. Martin’s Essentials, 2022), 217, 218, 219, 220.

Explore Further. . .

Image credit: Chaokun Wang, 墙 wall (detail), 2020, photograph, China, Creative Commons. Yoichi R. Okamoto, Munich’s Large and Beautiful Fussgangerzone (detail), 1973, photograph, Munich, Public Domain. Chaokun Wang, 树 tree (detail), 2019, photograph, Qufu, Creative Commons. Jenna Keiper & Leslye Colvin, 2022, triptych art, United States. Click here to enlarge the image.

This week’s images appear in a form inspired by early Christian/Catholic triptych art: a threefold form that tells a unified story. 

Image inspiration: Sometimes the wall cracks or the tree dies. We ponder and question what we profess to believe. It’s a healthy practice that undergirds a maturing faith.

Story from Our Community:

I was raised evangelical. I married a very legalistic evangelical. I became more and more self-righteous, convinced my politics and church were the only true way. Then I had a moral failure and I was the one being judged, being cut off. I spiraled into addiction. I cut God out completely. I hit bottom and started attending a 12-step group. I couldn’t go back to that church culture, but I wanted someone to make sense of what I was struggling with, enter Richard. I want my belief in Christ to make me a vessel of what he represented, not the ego-centric person I was. Thank you CAC, you are making a way in the desert.
—Kait S.

Share your own story with us.

Prayer for our community:

God, Lord of all creation, lover of life and of everything, please help us to love in our very small way what You love infinitely and everywhere. We thank You that we can offer just this one prayer and that will be more than enough,  because in reality every thing and every one is connected, and nothing stands alone. To pray for one part is really to pray for the whole, and so we do. Help us each day to stand for love, for healing, for the good, for the diverse unity of the Body of Christ and all creation, because we know this is what You desire: as Jesus prayed, that all may be one. We offer our prayer together with all the holy names of God, we offer our prayer together with Christ, our Lord, Amen.

Listen to the prayer.


Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.