You do not know

Preachers learn early on that we preach the sermons we most need to hear, and that was true of the one I had just preached as well. The story of Jesus and Nicodemus freed me from believing I had to know the answer to every question about what it means to be Christian. Church disunity, disrespectful evangelism, exclusive truth claims, triumphal language—I would never stop chewing on those bones, but they would not bother me as much once I allowed that I could never know everything there was to know about them. I could also stop worrying about whether I was Christian enough to stay in the room with Jesus. Thanks to his conversation with Nicodemus, I gained new respect for what it means to be agnostic—such a maligned word, so often used to mean distrustful or lackadaisical, when all it really means is that you do not know, which according to Jesus is true of everyone who is born of the Spirit.

– from “Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others” by Barbara Brown Taylor – HarperOne