St Julian, Norwich, Stained Glass King & Son at St Thomas, Norwich
Isaiah 26: 1-6
Psalm 118: 19 – 24
Matthew 7:15 -27
Sharing about the kingdom of God, Jesus talks about the good tree fruit and the bad tree fruit, opposites, and tells the story of building one’s house on solid rock to withstand the storms. The psalmist confidently asks that he might enter the gates where the righteous pass through – “the gate of the Lord, a day God has made”. Isaiah recounts in prophetic song, God’s welcoming the righteous home through that same gate. There is specified judgment here based on Israel’s actions and an announcement of a time when God will determine what that will be. We struggle with this aspect of God, choosing rather to dwell on His promised love for us, than His consigning us to separation from Him. Maybe judgment has gotten a bad rap, maybe we can, in our culture of inclusivity, ignore it. Or maybe we can enlarge or reframe it? In high school I read an essay by C.S. Lewis entitled “Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Universe” – an articulate defense of the God-ordained and created world order based upon right and wrong.
How often have we despaired over the state of our politics and leadership, our culture’s values, nations’ wrongdoing and found them to be wanting. Julian of Norwich’s “all shall be well” is that comfort, that waiting in hope that all will be made well more than we humans could ever fix, ask for or imagine. It is the song of Isaiah and the psalmist – the day when all will be made right.