(photo taken at Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth)

Recently a stranger from another continent tweeted me, troubled by something someone had told him: that the Bible says to not eat pork (and some other statement I can’t remember now).  I responded that the Bible is chockfull of all kinds of interesting and, at times, contradictory statements that are frequently taken out of context.

In my simple approach to faith, I suggested that if he could channel his energy into learning how to love God with all his heart and soul and mind, and to love his neighbor as himself, that he would do all right.

Julian of Norwich tells us to “hold tight to the Faith of Holy Church.” She goes on to say: “Individuals may often break down – or so it seems to them – but the whole body of Holy Church is unbreakable, whether in the past, the present or the future.”  Lest we be confused, she is good to remind us that the whole body of the Church is Jesus Christ; anything else is extraneous.

These are heartening words in contentious times.  No matter how we wound ourselves or others in our “fight,” it is helpful to remember that “the Saviour’s blessed wounds are open, and rejoice to heal us.” [1]

We are all broken, so it should come as no surprise that the systems we create are faulty.  This is nothing new, so when we find ourselves pining away for how things used to be, we might think again.

Anyone who has ever “hit bottom” with addiction or other destructive behaviors knows that this is a good thing.  With the “gift of the bottom,” a new awareness begins to break into our consciousness.  AA literature calls this pivotal time a “turning point.”  We are invited to let go of “our old ideas.”[2]  We are called to pick up our broken selves and run wholeheartedly into the arms of Jesus who knows us, loves us and longs to transform us into vessels of his love.

[1] Excerpt from Revelations of Divine Love in Readings for the Daily Office from the Early Church, p 314.

[2] Alcoholics Anonymous, pp 58-59.

About Mother Beth Tjoflat

Episcopal priest, urban contemplative, playwright, lover of hounds, American of Chilean-Norwegian-Moravian descent. Interests include transformational ministry with the forgotten and marginalized; church planting and congregational development; 12-step spirituality; Hispanic ministry; radical hospitality, and spending time with dear friends.
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