An article for April from the Dean of Worcester

What will Easter bring for the people of Ukraine? I write these words at the beginning of Lent, and the situation is so fast-moving that whatever I write will soon be out-of-date. But we already know that for hundreds of thousands, at least, Easter will bring heartache: the heartache of bereavement, of injury, of loss of home and livelihood, of exile in a strange land. And anger too, for all of us: anger at a war so stupid, so unjustified, so economically crippling, so distracting from the still greater crisis of the climate and the environment, so perilous on so many levels for the whole world. Anger is the only appropriate response at colossal wickedness.

And Easter? Do we cancel Easter in our anger and despair? No, because Easter is not ours to cancel, whatever we may feel. Easter is the affirmation that the Lord lives. He who felt fear and agony in Gethsemane – lives. He who was brutalized at the hands of soldiers – lives. He who was condemned to a public execution – lives. He who felt himself forsaken by God in the face of death – lives.

And those who mourned his death met him alive, and learned the lesson that death is not the end. Those who cowered in fear behind locked doors found him with them – alive. Those who walked sadly home found him beside them on the road – alive. Those who went fishing, not knowing what else to do, found him waiting for them on the beach – alive.

Let us pray that the Easter faith which so transformed those first disciples will take root in our hearts as well. ‘Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come , nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’.

Peter Atkinson
Dean of Worcester

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