Sermons on mystic
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church The Rev. Barbara Hutchinson Seven years ago, when I was interviewing here at St. Andrew’s, the Search Committee had written a marvelous Parish Profile for all perspective applicants, outlining a lively commitment to outreach, a devotion to worship, and ongoing opportunities for both children’s and adult formation. I pored over the material, absorbing it like it was the very air I was breathing, circling the phrases and sections I was most drawn toward, and writing in…
And through the smudges of the oil, nearly dripping down her forehead into her eyes, we open her third eye, the one the mystics speak about, the one in the middle of her forehead, and the one that allows humans to see spiritual reality. Her soul has been awakened, ready to join her discerning heart, her ever expanding and inquisitive mind, and her energetic and loving body; awakened to find the courage to will and to persevere, to engage the spirit to know and to love God, and to embrace the gift of joy and wonder in all of God’s works. Something is unlocked. The closed is opened. Her soul awakens in this moment. From here on out, she has the capacity to look both ways, to the eternal, infinite, and transcendent, and to the temporal, finite and immanent.
Now the people in Nazareth are neither especially bad, nor blind, nor particularly unreceptive. They made a mistake many of us are prone to. They expected the ordinary, a human being, to do ordinary things. Or they expected extraordinary things to be done by extraordinary people. Not an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. They took Jesus at face value. They remembered Jesus as the kid who lived two doors down, who kicked the ball in the streets with his friends, or could be found in his father’s shop, learning the carpenter trade. The people of Nazarene couldn’t look beyond Jesus’ ordinariness to figure out how he could do extraordinary things. Instead they dismissed the whole package.