Who could ask for anything more?

By Bishop Jonathan Holston

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

Most days I seem to get bogged down in the busyness and irritations of life. Often I am reminded of the quote that says, Make sure that we never get too busy with life that we don t have time to live. Yet it is so easy to waste time fretting over things that are not important.

During this Lenten season, I want to remember God intends for our lives to be more than a bundle of activity. Christ came not only so we would have life, but so we would have abundant life.

To me, abundant life means more of everything that makes life worth living: namely, more joy, more peace, more love, more compassion, more community, more hope and sometimes more heartache. It also means spending my life learning, growing and maturing into the person God needs me to be. It means no matter what twists and turns my life may take, I can look forward to the future with excitement and assurance of God s presence.

How wonderful to realize that we have a future and a hope. With that assurance, we can move forward with anticipation. We do not have to be afraid. We will never be alone. We will always be understood. We will always be loved.

When I was 9 years old, my maternal grandmother died from cancer. I spent many summers with Mama Annie. She loved me and I loved her. When she became ill, I was devastated. All the promises and hopes she saw in my life seemed lost. Yet my mother reminded me that her dreams for my future would never die, but live forever through my faith in God.

I am sure the followers of Jesus felt the ebbs and flow of dreams deferred. So many events had transpired. Jesus had burst upon the scene. Jesus shocked the religious world with his message. All that was a dream as they remembered the way he was sheared, cut up and stretched on that cross on a Friday that did not seem all that good. It seemed defeat, despair and death had squeezed hope out of life.

Yet it is in the midst of a Friday s broken dreams, shattered hopes and lost love that we have the promise of a Sunday s fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Friends, God s great work on Easter Sunday is found in the hope and promise of victory over death and the gift of life eternal. I stand amazed at all the promises that Easter holds for the life to come. I have also come to value the promise Easter holds for the life lived in the here and now. This is the power that can enrich our Church, strengthen our community and change our world.

Frankly, it is the power to love the unlovable, to live the life abundantly, to grow into our full potential, to work for justice and mercy in this world.

May you be blessed in celebration of a glorious Easter!

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