|Cathedral closed until further notice|
The Revd Richard Coles and Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber speak to over 1,000 people at St Paul’s
06 September 2016
What we celebrate in the saints is God’s ability to get beautiful, redemptive stuff done though, of all things, human beings, all of whom are flawed. Nadia Bolz-Weber
1,200 people came to the cathedral to hear the Lutheran Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber and the Revd Richard Coles talk about finding God in all the wrong people on September 6th.
Pastor Nadia had come from being a headline speaker at Greenbelt Festival and Richard joined us from filming for the BBC.
Her best-selling book Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People was the subject of the evening, and the conversation ranged from what defines a saint, to the outrageousness of Grace, to where we can find hope in today’s politics, to what really happened in the Garden of Eden. There was a lot of laughter, and times when, people said afterwards, they’d been moved to tears.
Pastor Nadia ended the evening with a blessing that reimagined the Beatitudes for our time. Introducing them she said ‘Maybe Jesus was simply blessing the ones around him that day who didn’t otherwise receive blessing, who had come to believe that, for them, blessings would never be in the cards. I mean, come on, doesn’t that just sound like something Jesus would do? Extravagantly throwing around blessings as though they grew on trees?’
She went on to bless agnostics, those who doubt, those who can still be surprised; those for whom death is not an abstraction: those who have loved enough to know what loss feels like; those who no one else notices, the kids who sit alone at middle school lunch, the laundry guys at the hospital, the street sweepers, and a myriad of others, ending ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they totally get it’.