“This is your trunk. These are your gowns. Lady Catherine will never know,” Elizabeth Bennet said to Maria Lucas in the 1995 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Upon hearing the great lady’s “directions as to the best method of packing,” Maria began a frantic redo of her trunk. Elizabeth sought to convince her that how she folded her gowns was her own private affair. Elizabeth Bennet’s words ring in my ear, tempting me to abandon my study of Jude’s letter and the writing of this post. "This is your study. These are your thoughts. No one need ever know!"
Disturbed and heartsick, I grieve to learn of yet another respected Christian leader’s secret immoral life, especially for the wounded victims shattered in his wake. Perhaps Jude—the half-brother of Jesus, the younger son of Mary of Nazareth—would have discerned this because he wrote the book (literally) on how to spot ungodly people, as he calls them. So I turn to Jude’s tiny New Testament letter to help me make sense of what I see in the world.