Guest / Limited Access /

If the Baptists who raised me in rural North Carolina taught me anything, they taught me to love Jesus and the Bible. Hard-working farmers and factory employees, my people had high hopes for me. They stressed education and sent me with care packages to go out and see the world. But however far I might go, they made sure I knew that Jesus and the Bible were at the center of everything. Jesus was our Lord and Savior, the ultimate answer to life's biggest questions and my heart's deepest longings. In Sunday school, I learned that you find Jesus through the Bible. The Good Book was our constant companion. We memorized it chapter and verse.

As others showed me more than 2,000 verses about the poor, my people's passion for Scripture moved me to connect discipleship with justice. Jesus had clearly invited his followers into a new relationship with God: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). What's more, Jesus made clear that this new relationship entails personal transformation: "No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again" (John 3:3). These realizations interrupted my assumptions about how I relate to other people. The more I paid attention to the Bible, the more it seemed my relationship with Jesus was inseparable from my relationship to those rejected and overlooked by society. "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat," Jesus said. "I was a stranger and you invited me in …. [W]hatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matt. 25:35, 40).

So I followed Jesus to Rutba House, a new monastic community in Durham, North Carolina. Communities like ours take root in cities, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Urban Planters: Building off Believers?
Who fills the pews of the Big Apple?
RecommendedFarewell, Jesus Junk? Christian Retail Finds a Deeper Purpose
Farewell, Jesus Junk? Christian Retail Finds a Deeper Purpose
With the closing of Family Christian, stores focus on curation and community involvement.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickThere’s No Crying on Social Media!
There’s No Crying on Social Media!
Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.
Christianity Today
Joining the Eternal Song
hide thisMay May

In the Magazine

May 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.