Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sun. Mar. 13, 2011 (Hannah Dutko)

Hannah Dutko focused her message on the life of Julian of Norwich, (1342 – 1416) a medieval woman, a mystic, and a religious writer. A recluse, she lived in a small cell in as an anchoress, a type of hermit who lives in a cell attached to the church and engages in contemplative prayer. At age 30, suffering from a severe illness and believing she was on her deathbed, she had a series of intense visions of Jesus, God and the devil. She transcribed these visions in what is considered the first known autobiography by a woman. Twenty years later she wrote another series of reflections on her visions. She wrote so that people might understand the love and revelation of God. The times were difficult: the black death, the Roman church was in chaos (two popes) and Wycliffe and Hus were emerging activists. Julian, in exploring the meaning of suffering, rejects the idea of suffering caused by the devil; the devil seeks to promote despair and doubt; but Christ’s passion has overcome evil. Further, suffering is not punishment from God; Julian suggests a merciful theology and hope in God’s power. Her writings suggest confidence that God is at work. God answered her prayers by saying “I will make all things well; and you will see that yourself, that all things will be well.” The comment was made that it might be difficult to reassure people (“that all things will be well”) when they are angry or seriously ill. It is a message that should given in hope, to someone we know well. [HN] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, March 13th, 2011 using your browser's preferred media player.



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