What does it mean for us to take evil seriously?

A few years ago, Rev Dr Stephen Cherry led a retreat on Julian of Norwich. Last week I visited Norwich and visited the cell attached to a small church from where she ministered, prayed, wrote and spoke. It was an amazing experience. In commenting on evil, Rev Cherry said the following, which I think speaks to not only evil per se, but also anxiety, a current blight for so many people in our day.

I remembered this verse from 1 Corinthians 14:20 to accompany it: “Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.”

“What does it mean for us to take evil seriously?  There’s a good question! It does not mean we take it on its own terms.  Don’t let the devil determine what seriousness is.  Don’t let sin call the tune . . . we’re getting into moralism territory a little bit . . . but this is what Julian is up to; It’s the victorious – we don’t know how; it is nothing but the loving, transcending, the delight in God that should set the tone, set the agenda.  And it’s that context which makes things “laughable”.  Do we see what she is saying here?  Challenging at many levels.  I’ve always liked that line in the hymn,

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