We Shall Not Be Overcome

Dear Glen Mar friends,

Saturday Night Live is still going strong - and we'll keep going as long as weather permits. RSVP here - you can be in a chair in a parking space or in your warm and comfy car! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090B4CAAAC2AA31-saturday is the registration link. And...we will invite around 40 people to join us in the Spirit Center for worship on Sunday, 10/4 - stay tuned for details on how to reserve a spot.

I was reading Julian of Norwich's Reflections on Divine Love this week. It occurred to me that Julian lived at a very tumultuous time - late 13th century - early 14th century England. They were facing the plague of the Black Death, which decimated the population of Europe in ways that would make COVID-19 seem tame. There were wars and insurrections. There was famine and oppression. Still, Julian had visions of God's presence through it all. In those visions, she said, she never saw any indication that followers of Christ would avoid trouble, or pain or sorrow. She did, however see clearly that in the falling and the rising, we would be held and carried by God's love. She writes "He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome."

Her most famous quote was, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." What a strange message to get from God in a time when things were so bleak and broken. It feels dismissive almost, or at worst, delusional.

And yet...as we live in our own times of brokenness...perhaps Julian's word is a word for our time too. The brokenness is not of God's design. The injustice and violence are not of God's design. Much of the pain and many of the wounds we inflict are of our own making. But in the midst of it all, another story is being played out. And that story is stronger than the travails we are facing now - it is a melody line under the clashing notes that deafen us - and it is a song of lament for the ways we have missed the mark, and that weeping that endures for often what feels like a long, long night. And it is a song of joy that comes, resurrection that comes, reconciliation that comes...if we do not give up.

See you "in church",
Pastor Mandy