Revelations of Divine Love – Revelation Thirteen, pt.3

Tonight, we will be discussing Revelation 13 of Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love. pp.19-26; Short Text §§13-18; Long Text §§27-40. This Revelation is the heart of Julian’s message that “All will be well.” Please take the time to read this Revelation slowly and give yourself time to ruminate over her message.

Revelation Thirteen: Julian’s Curiosity (pp.23-24, §16 short text, §35 long text)

Although Jesus continues to assure Julian that “all will be well” she nonetheless continues in her curiosity as to whether this is actually true. In this section, she asks God about how it will be with a certain particular person. Christ responds that Julian should not worry about particulars because “all shall be well.” Christ then brings to her mind all of her sins and all the sins of all Christians, in general and not in particular. In other words, Christ instructs her and us, that ALL sins are a barrier, not just some discreet particular sin, between ALL of us and God, and that, in Christ, ALL, not just some discreet particular subset of us, will be made well.

Revelation Thirteen: The Glory of Sin (pp.24-25, §17 short text, §§37-39)

Within this Revelation, Christ reminds Julian that she, as well as everyone else, will sin. In this life, there will still be this separation of each of us from God. Yet, Christ also reminds Julian with a “love and assurance of spiritual safekeeping” that this separation is never the end. He tells us that our true, higher, godly will can never truly sin because that is the will that is united with the Trinity, and therefore we can never be truly separated from God.

Christ also reminds her that sin ultimately leads to glory. As Paul writes, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Rom. 5:20. To prove his point, Christ gives her the examples of the great sinners throughout Scripture – David, Peter, Paul, Thomas, and Mary Magdalene. She understands that every sin gives us an opportunity and invitation to return to God and experience his grace and healing. Christ tells her that the punishment for sin is the sorrow and the suffering we experience now, but it “will be rewarded in heaven by the courteous love of our Lord God Almighty.” p.25.

Revelation Thirteen: The Torment of Sin (pp.25-26, §18 short text, §40 long text)

If sin ultimately leads to glory and God’s love, then should we not continue to sin? Like Paul in Romans 6:1, Julian too responds with a resounding “No!” She reminds us that sin is nothingness, it is neither action nor pleasure, but torment to the created life that we have been given by God. Julian ends this Revelation with the reminder that our salvation and ultimate end is the unity (that at-one-ment) with the Trinity and with our neighbor. God’s desire for us is “to be like him in oneness of unending love towards ourselves and our fellow Christians.” p.26. Just as God does not withhold his love towards us because of our sin, so too does God wish that our love never be withheld from ourselves and from others.


  • Next week will be our last week with Julian of Norwich. We will begin a study of Paul’s Letter to the Philippians on June 4.
  • I am preaching at Messiah this Sunday (Trinity Sunday) at 10 a.m.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is ham, biscuits, and mac-n-cheese. (Thank you, Kim Perl.) Meditative discussion about 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here.

Be a sinner, and sin boldly, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. Martin Luther, Letter to Philip Melanchthon, 1521

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