On Sunday, millions of Christians around the world will be celebrating Easter. At the heart of this festival are the astonishing words, “He is Risen!”
These words changed the course of history, beginning with a small group of women and men who had lived alongside Jesus, and spreading out to the corners of the world.
The Resurrection of Jesus comes after our forty day observance of Lent, with its fasting and self-reflection, and our journey through the events and horrors of Holy Week.
We’ve journeyed with Jesus through the abuses of religious and political power and witnessed again the travesty of the injustices he faced and the fear that brought.
Much of this time has been overshadowed by the crisis that has developed since the use of a Russian nerve agent on the streets of our country. In this despicable act of injustice, it seems likely that today’s political power has been abused with all of the fear that engenders.
Fear also stalks people in our communities who, far from just about managing, are facing a daily Good Friday world with its slow death of potential, health, esteem and hope.
Easter doesn’t hide from these daily realities, but witnesses to God in Jesus bringing life out of death, transforming darkness into light, turning fear into tomorrow’s joy, and longing for hopelessness to become hopefulness. Easter is about discovering this life in abundance.
When we allow the Easter light to shine through the cracks in our lives, and the Easter song to be sung in our communities, we begin to experience God’s healing, restoration and reconciliation. Finding life in all of its abundance.
Many centuries ago, St Augustine of Hippo, proclaimed “We are an Easter People and Hallelujah is our Song!” Now, that’s a song worth discovering and singing – Happy Easter!
Rt Revd Graham Usher
The Bishop of Dudley