“Letting go”, at many many levels in my life, has been an important theme for me these last two and a half years. I have been the recipient of much grace. It was another grace therefore to read Rowan Williams' Easter 2003 sermon (based upon John 20:17) earlier this morning – this Easter Sunday morning.
“…From now on, my justification is not that I am proved to have been right all along; it is that Jesus has promised, irrespective of my success or failure, to be there. He assures me not of my innocence but of my forgiveness and my hope. He was raised to life, says Saint Paul, for our justification; he was raised so that we may know his promise to be with us is never defeated by our failures.
We struggle with the dilemmas of our age; we do our best to test and challenge our own convictions, to bring them to the truth; but we know too that they will be shadowed with our own secret needs and frailties, that they will not simply be a clear witness to truth and goodness. We accept that, even as we work for good ends, we shall find ourselves wandering or compromised. We make our decisions about right and wrong, good and evil, as prayerfully and carefully as we can, and try to find the courage to take the consequences of those decisions. But we resolve not to see in each other absolute good or evil; we recognise that the denial of evil in ourselves does not help the cause of good. And so we follow Jesus, 'justified' by his gift of love alone. We pray and trust that he will, bit by bit, deliver us from evil, inside as well as outside. We turn our eyes away from the seductive image of a righteous, settled soul with nothing more to learn or to repent. We keep our eyes on Jesus and follow his gaze – towards the Father's heart. We stop clinging, stop demanding that God will serve our need to be in the right. We make our mistakes and we own them. We are justified by faith, as we resolve to follow the risen Jesus into the unknown depths of God's life; and if we can begin to live out such a faith in the resurrection, we shall, with Mary, prompt others to come and ponder the empty tomb and take the first steps on Jesus’ path…”
A very joyous Easter to you all.