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Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber
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Accidental Saints Quotes Showing 1-30 of 145
“Never once did Jesus scan the room for the best example of  holy living and send that person out to tell others about him. He always sent stumblers and sinners. I find that comforting.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Good Friday is not about us trying to "get right with God." It is about us entering the difference between God and humanity and just touching it for a moment. Touching the shimmering sadness of humanity's insistence that we can be our own gods, that we can be pure and all-powerful.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“And this is it. This is the life we get here on earth. We get to give away what we receive. We get to believe in each other. We get to forgive and be forgiven. We get to love imperfectly. And we never know what effect it will have for years to come. And all of  it…all of  it is completely worth it.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“My spirituality is most active, not in meditation, but in the moments when: I realize God may have gotten something beautiful done through me despite the fact that I am an asshole, and when I am confronted by the mercy of the gospel so much that I cannot hate my enemies, and when I am unable to judge the sin of someone else (which, let’s be honest, I love to do) because my own crap is too much in the way, and when I have to bear witness to another human being’s suffering despite my desire to be left alone, and when I am forgiven by someone even though I don’t deserve it and my forgiver does this because he, too, is trapped by the gospel, and when traumatic things happen in the world and I have nowhere to place them or make sense of them but what I do have is a group of people who gather with me every week, people who will mourn and pray with me over the devastation of something like a school shooting, and when I end up changed by loving someone I’d never choose out of a catalog but whom God sends my way to teach me about God’s love.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Because in the end, we aren’t punished for our sins as much as we are punished by our sins.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“she said, “I think I’m having a crisis of  faith.” To which I thought, What the hell does that look like for a Unitarian? “Yeah,” she continued. “I think I believe in Jesus.” Oh. That’s what it looks like. “I’m so sorry,” I replied. “But sometimes Jesus just hunts your ass down and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“There are many reasons to steer clear of  Christianity. No question. I fully understand why people make that choice. Christianity has survived some unspeakable abominations: the Crusades, clergy sex-scandals, papal corruption, televangelist scams, and clown ministry. But it will survive us, too. It will survive our mistakes and pride and exclusion of others. I believe that the power of  Christianity — the thing that made the very first disciples drop their nets and walk away from everything they knew, the thing that caused Mary Magdalene to return to the tomb and then announce the resurrection of Christ, the thing that the early Christians martyred themselves for, and the thing that keeps me in the Jesus business (or, what my Episcopal priest friend Paul calls “working for the company”) — is something that cannot be killed. The power of unbounded mercy, of what we call The Gospel, cannot be destroyed by corruption and toothy TV preachers. Because in the end, there is still Jesus.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Whenever people annoy me beyond reason, I can guarantee it’s because they’re demonstrating something I’d rather not see in myself.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Sometimes the fact that there is nothing about you that makes you the right person to do something is exactly what God is looking for.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“The adjective so often coupled with mercy is the word tender, but God’s mercy is not tender; this mercy is a blunt instrument. Mercy doesn’t wrap a warm, limp blanket around offenders. God’s mercy is the kind that kills the thing that wronged it and resurrects something new in its place. In our guilt and remorse, we may wish for nothing but the ability to rewrite our own past, but what’s done cannot, will not, be undone. But I am here to say that in the mercy of  God it can be redeemed. I cling to the truth of  God’s ability to redeem us more than perhaps any other. I have to. I need to. I want to. For when we say “Lord have mercy,” what else could we possibly mean than this truth?”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Here’s my image of Ash Wednesday: If our lives were a long piece of  fabric with our baptism on one end and our funeral on another, and we don’t know the distance between the two, then Ash Wednesday is a time when that fabric is pinched in the middle and the ends are held up so that our baptism in the past and our funeral in the future meet. The water and words from our baptism plus the earth and words from our funerals have come from the past and future to meet us in the present. And in that meeting we are reminded of the promises of  God: That we are God’s, that there is no sin, no darkness, and yes, no grave that God will not come to find us in and love us back to life.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Those most qualified to speak the gospel are those who truly know how unqualified they are to speak the gospel.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“people have been fed spoonfuls of nonsense and told it was Jesus.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“And the thing about grace, real grace, is that it stings. It stings because if it's real it means we don't "deserve" it. ... And receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
tags: grace
“In the end, the only real love in the world is found when you let yourself  be truly known.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“The sting of grace is not unlike the sting of  being loved well, because when we are loved well, it is inextricably linked to all the times we have not been loved well, all the times we ourselves have not loved others well, and all the things we’ve done or not done that feel like evidence against our worthiness.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“it has been my experience that what makes us the saints of  God is not our ability to be saintly but rather God’s ability to work through sinners.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“While we as people of  God are certainly called to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, that whole "we're blessed to be a blessing" thing can still be kind of dangerous. It can be dangerous when we self-importantly place ourselves above the world, waiting to descend on those below so we can be the "blessing" they've been waiting for, like it or not.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“God did not enter the world of our nostalgic, silent-night, snow-blanketed, peace-on-earth, suspended reality of  Christmas. God slipped into the vulnerability of skin and entered our violent and disturbing world.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“There is a reason Mary is everywhere. I've seen her image all over the world, in cafés in Istanbul, on students' backpacks in Scotland, in a market stall in Jakarta, but I don't think her image is everywhere because she is a reminder to be obedient, and I don't think it has to do with social revolution. Images of  Mary remind us of  God's favor. Mary is what it looks like to believe that we already are who God says we are.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“But we’ve lost the plot if we use religion as the place where we escape from difficult realities instead of as the place where those difficult realities are given meaning.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“I've never fully understood how Christianity became quite so tame and respectable, given its origins among drunkards, prostitutes, and tax collectors....Jesus could have hung out in the high-end religious scene of his day, but instead he scoffed at all that, choosing instead to laugh at the powerful, befriend whores, kiss sinners, and eat with all the wrong people. He spent his time with people for whom life was not easy. And there, amid those who were suffering, he was the embodiment of perfect love.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Without higher-quality material to work with, God resorts to working through us for others and upon us through others. Those are some weirdly restorative, disconcerting shenanigans to be caught up in: God forcing God’s people to see themselves as God sees them, to do stuff they know they are incapable of doing, so that God might make use of them, and make them to be both humble recipients and generous givers of grace, so that they may be part of  God’s big project on earth, so that they themselves might find unexpected joy through surprising situations.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Sometimes help comes from unexpected places.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“I’ve never fully understood how Christianity became quite so tame and respectable, given its origins among drunkards, prostitutes, and tax collectors.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Church is messed up. I know that. People, including me, have been hurt by it. But as my United Church of  Christ pastor friend Heather says, “Church isn’t perfect. It’s practice.” Among God’s people, those who have been knocked on their asses by the grace of  God, we practice giving and receiving the undeserved. And receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world. I don’t want to need it. Preferably I could just do it all and be it all and never mess up. That may be what I would prefer, but it is never what I need. I need to be broken apart and put back into a different shape by that merging of things human and divine, which is really screwing up and receiving grace and love and forgiveness rather than receiving what I really deserve. I need the very thing that I will do everything I can to avoid needing. The sting of grace is not unlike the sting of  being loved well, because when we are loved well, it is inextricably linked to all the times we have not been loved well, all the times we ourselves have not loved others well, and all the things we’ve done or not done that feel like evidence against our worthiness.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“we actually have the authority to remind each other of the gospel and defy the darkness of  living in a broken world by pointing to the light of  Christ. We all need to have our bruised, papery hands held while someone else says, “You are forgiven, and you are loved.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“The adjective so often coupled with mercy is the word tender, but God’s mercy is not tender; this mercy is a blunt instrument. Mercy doesn’t wrap a warm, limp blanket around offenders. God’s mercy is the kind that kills the thing that wronged it and resurrects something new in its place.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“Which is exactly why our demons try to keep us from people who remind us how loved we are. Our demons want nothing to do with the love of  God in Christ Jesus because it threatens to obliterate them, and so they try to isolate us and tell us that we are not worthy to be called children of  God. And those are lies that Jesus does not abide.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
“I realize God may have gotten something beautiful done through me despite the fact that I am an asshole, and when I am confronted by the mercy of the gospel so much that I cannot hate my enemies, and when I am unable to judge the sin of someone else (which, let’s be honest, I love to do) because my own crap is too much in the way, and when I have to bear witness to another human being’s suffering despite my desire to be left alone, and when I am forgiven by someone even though I don’t deserve it and my forgiver does this because he, too, is trapped by the gospel, and when traumatic things happen in the world and I have nowhere to place them or make sense of them but what I do have is a group of people who gather with me every week, people who will mourn and pray with me over the devastation of something like a school shooting, and when I end up changed by loving someone I’d never choose out of a catalog but whom God sends my way to teach me about God’s love.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

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