I loved Rachel Held Evans’ blog, and I was heartbroken by her death last year.
Searching for Sunday is Evans’ story of her Christian upbringing, her eventual disillusionment with religion, and the long journey that brought her back to the Church. In the book, Evans explores the sacraments as a vehicle for her journey.
She brings up the hard questions that many Christians struggle with: are some denominations right and others wrong; whom do we exclude from fellowship; whom does God exclude; are we limiting God, misrepresenting God with our creeds and beliefs?
The Evanses participated in a church startup that ultimately closed. As heartrending as the experience was, Evans learned a lot from it, and she shares what she discovered.
One of the pleasures of reading this book is Evans’ beautiful style of writing. Here are a couple of verbal images that touched me deeply:
The difference between a labyrinth and a maze is that a labyrinth has no dead ends.
The famed eleven-circuit labyrinth inlaid in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France has just one path, which takes the pilgrim in and out of four quadrants in a spiraling motion through dozens of left and right turns, before reaching its rosette center. Such a pattern invites meditation, the mystics say, and reminds the pilgrim the journey of faith is rarely a straightforward one.
Jesus said his Father’s house has many rooms. In this metaphor, I like to imagine the Presbyterians hanging out in the library, the Baptists running the kitchen, the Anglicans setting the table, the Anabaptists washing feet with the hose in the backyard, the Lutherans making liturgy for the laundry, the Methodists stoking the fire in the hearth, the Catholics keeping the family history, the Pentecostals throwing open all the windows and doors to let more people in.