“ I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.
It is Saturday night, the Great Vigil of Easter. As the sun sets, the new fires are lit, and hope returns to the world. The curse of the tomb is gone, because the tomb is empty. Easter. He Lives. Resurrection.
The preacher, Fr. David Hyatt is an intellectual. He is warm and wise in ways that many intellectual types leave me cold. They seem to know, but they don’t believe. The passionless intelligentsia I call them; you know the type.
Fr. Hyatt is my friend, and I look forward to his sermons, because he teaches while challenging me to think it through for myself.
As he begins, I wonder how difficult it must be to develop a fresh thought for this Easter, as he has preached for many, many Easters. David talks about the challenge of believing, using Thomas’ doubts as the springboard. He talks about the promise of life of abundance.
I am thinking now, drawn in. This abundance is a promise that we have to participate in. We have to take the risk of claiming our own greatness. Muhammad Ali is introduced to the sermon as claiming his own greatness, before he had realized it. It was the accepting and claiming and believing that propelled him, Fr. Hyatt is telling us.
Well, I am no Muhammad Ali, you can ask anybody. Still, he has me wondering, what do I have, where is my abundance? I can make a mental note of some things as David speaks. I have abundance in family and friends. Abundantly good fortune in other things, but yet I am still so very far from accomplishing things that are of great importance to me. So far indeed; so far that I fight off the belief that I am a mere dreamer, and not the heavyweight champ.
That’s what I was thinking, as I shook my head to clear it, and return to listening. This is good stuff, and I don’t want to miss what Fr. Hyatt says just because I am entangled in my own shortcomings.
A quote is read to us, the author is unknown to me. It is prose, but the way that David reads it makes it poetry.
It follows, by Marianne Williamson.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Wow. Discovering this is as surprising to me as I imagine that Peter was surprised, as he leaned down to peak into an empty tomb.
This is too good not to share; it is my Easter surprise. I thank Marianne for writing it, and Fr. Hyatt for bringing it to me, and turning it up to 10.
In a world capable of blight or abundance, I stand in the warmth and light of the risen Lord. Maybe even a wretch like me, or you, can manifest the glory of God that is within us.
I am thinking that maybe I can, if I shrug off the comfort of being a wretch, for the dangerous notion of having greatness in me, waiting to be claimed.
Oh yeah, and to be claimed for His glory, not mine. I aim to stop being ashamed of what I have not become.