Church + Recognizing God’s Presence = Hope

When I look at the church, what gives me hope?

I try not to look at “the church,” as I used to understand that word, anyway—as an organized institution or loose network of denominations. I try to look for evidence of the Kingdom instead, putting my ear to the ground and listening for holy rumblings.

In my experience, when old ways and ideas pass away, it’s often because they needed to die. (With “Christian” nationalism on the rise in the American church, I smell death.) Then new shapes rise up from the ashes. When things become uncomfortable, our discomfort can birth better visions.

When I look for God’s movement in the unspectacular and unexpected, I find it. These days I see it in the queer folx I work with who have clung to Jesus in spite of the pain inflicted by the church. I see it when my post-church young adult children ask hard questions and when my peers and I, most of whom were raised on too-easy answers and theologies with neat edges, agree to throw themselves into those conversations and wrestle, honestly, alongside them. I see it in my friends of color who, although weary, still generously lift their voices to spill truth where it’s so desperately needed. I see it in my colleagues’ patient, faithful commitment to justice. God is as present in the world today as ever, but God is wearing a different face these days than the one I was taught to look for when I was younger. I am filled with hope whenever I’m able to recognize God’s features in these people and conversations.

Kristyn Komarnicki, Director of dialogue & convening, Christians for Social Action

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