by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 10/30/14

On Sunday, we are reflecting on the saints and sinners in our lives. Which is to say, we will be reflecting on the church and the community, who, throughout time, have passed on the faith while dealing with their own virtue and vice. We will name the dear saints who have passed from our midst in the last year, those who have joined the wider community of the church already at home in Christ with God. They remain a part of us and we of them. One community, a great cloud of witnesses to the power of God to create, redeem, and call us to new life in a community of saints.

Julian of Norwich lived in the 14th century and published what is regarded as the oldest surviving book penned by a woman in the English language. Her book, Revelations of Divine Love, bears the marks of English mysticism of the time. She wrote about good and evil and the power of the love of God, expressed both in the passion of Christ and the in the nature of God as Trinity. Widely regarded as a saint, she felt that she was a sinner like the rest of us.

“First comes the fall,” she wrote, “then comes the recovery from the fall, both are the mercy of God.”

We would do well to learn the wisdom here. Saintly folk need to remember that they are sinners like the rest. Sinners must know that no matter where you are in life, there can be the grace of recovery again and again.