“Thou Shalt Not Be Overcome. All shall be well,
and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”
“All Shall Be Well." That phrase is repeated twice and is done quite intentionally. We need to be reminded over and over and over again. All Shall Be Well.
700 years ago a nameless Christian woman ( at least her name lost to history) lay on her deathbed. And Christ came to her and revealed a series of “showings,“ divine revelations. That woman revived and became known as Julian of Norwich.
Her conversations with Christ were eventually published in The Revelation of Divine Love “which is thought to be the first book written by a woman in English, surviving for us today.”
"Julian was the modern equivalent of a nun, living the most modest life, and providing spiritual counseling to people suffering in plague, poverty, and famine."
“She refers to Jesus as Our Mother and used vivid imagery of God as Motherhood.”
"Julian was an intelligent, sensitive, very down-to-earth woman who maintains her trust in God’s goodness while addressing doubt, fear, and deep theological questions.”
In modern words, God said to Julian, “I don’t get enraged. You do.” God doesn’t unleash fury. We humans lose our tempers and then we happily ascribe the rage to God.
And "Christ didn’t say, you won’t be tempted. Christ didn’t say you won’t suffer horribly. Christ didn’t say you won’t endure disease. No. Christ said, 'You will not be overcome.'"
And “you will not be overcome,” drives the passion of “we shall overcome.”
“Modern writers and poets as diverse as T.S. Eliot, Denise Levertov, Iris Murdoch, and many others reference Julian.” And, of course, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. builds on her faith. We Shall Overcome Some Day.
“Today, pilgrims from around the world visit the Shrine of Julian in Norwich, England.” (Thanks to the website: Juliancentre.org.)
This Advent may we give thanks.
We will NOT be overcome.
Not matter what our bodies or the world throw at us. No. We shall not drown, as the psalmists so often cry out.
All Shall Be Well. And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well.
May Julian’s courage, hope, and faith sustain you with peace and joy today and always.
With my prayers and gratitude,
Hentzi Elek, Rector