My kids started school online yesterday. They’ll be online at least until Labor Day. As this pandemic drags on, and our world seems to be coming unhinged, these words from Dame Julian of Norwich brought some comfort for me the other day (she talks often of Jesus as our “Mother,” FYI):
We make our humble complaint to our beloved Mother, and he sprinkles us with his precious blood, and makes our soul pliable and tender, and restores us to our full beauty in course of time… And then the true meaning of those lovely words will be made known to us, ‘It is all going to be all right. You will see for yourself that everything is going to be all right.’
Dame Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
The 24/7 news cycle compels us to stay constantly aware of the chaos of our world, but in the midst of this, I’m trying to follow Julian’s lead and keep bringing my “humble complaint” to Jesus, my “beloved Mother,” praying that the future all-rightness of the world will continue to manifest itself in the present, in my relationships and in our world.
Here are the curated links for this week. I pray they equip you to engage the world today in faith, hope, and love.
- We had a beautiful conversation with K.J. Ramsey about suffering and transformation on our podcast this week.
- I’m feeling this personally, and apparently it’s true across the board: We’ve Hit a Pandemic Wall: New data show that Americans are suffering from record levels of mental distress.
- So how to respond to this distress? N.T. Wright says the pandemic should make us humble—and relentlessly practical. (These are the helpful themes he talked with us about when we had him on the podcast.)
- Here’s why racism among white Christians is higher than among the nonreligious. (It’s not a coincidence.) This calls for repentance.
- Yesterday was the Feast of the Transfiguration and the anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Brian Zahnd wrote about that connection 5 years ago and it still hits home.
- Finally, my fellow Gravity co-founder (and co-pastor) Matt Tebbe preached a really helpful sermon on Jacob wrestling with God this past Sunday that I wanted to share with y’all: How God Deals With Sordid Pasts and Uncertain Futures.
That’s all for this week. In the midst of the darkness of our current moment, I pray you are able to perceive and behold the bright transfiguring beauty of our King, shining within creation today. I leave you with a Collect for the Transfiguration:
O God, who on the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Ben Sternke (for Gravity Leadership)
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