This is text is part of a larger piece written and read by Molly Sabourin, a freelance writer focusing on issues of family, faith, and community. She is an Orthodox Christian, a wife, and a mother of four. The whole piece is worth a read/listen to. I am grateful to Fr Michael Marsh for pointing me to this video. He writes, “Although it offers an Orthodox answer I think this video also represents The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion at our best – when we return to our patristic roots.” Molly Sabourin’s fuller text includes
Within seven to ten pages we were to document the details of our personal conversion, to narrate the story of our salvation. Not being a recovering drug addict, formally promiscuous or atheistic, I was clearly at a disadvantage from the start. It would be tricky, I knew, to contrive some sort of compelling chronicle out of, “Once when I was four, I invited Jesus into my heart. The end.” The truth of the matter was, I had no “before” and “after” just a perpetually seamless habit of belief. …
By the time I was my kids’ age I was convicted most wholeheartedly that the process of my salvation was complete. Parents looked on adoringly as my fellow Sunday school classmates and I recited with the stutters and stammers our scriptural promise:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Our roles now were that of “evangelizers”, telling others how to obtain what we, the believers, had already secured: a “get out of hell free” pass thanks to the sacrificial mercy of God and His only son. “My sins were pardoned and yours can be to, just repeat this simple prayer after me.” …I used to feel a lot of pressure to, upon every new introduction at school, at work, and at play. I could hardly absorb what a lost sinner was saying, so utterly and devotedly one tracked was my mind. How could I coolly, blithely, slip in a compelling reference to my savior? … What does one do when they are aching for more of Christ, yet their soul has been saved for good and now all they feel that is left is to procure the most relevant and effective means for outreach? What if you suspected that your “once saved, always saved” confidence was keeping you at arms length from the fullness of His presence?… I traveled centuries back in time to find the richness I’d hoped existed; I traded certainty for awe and perseverance. Salvation became as beginingless as God, Himself, as endless as infinity, as unlimited as His glory and as unownable as the firmament; I went from being finished to starting over.