Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
Salaam and warm greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from here in Jerusalem to all of our friends and partners, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The great celebration of Easter will soon be upon us. The Easter acclamation noted above will soon be said or sung with enthusiasm among Christians all over the world. The world-wide body of Christ will join in offering our alleluias of thanksgiving, praise and celebration for our Lord’s victory over sin and death. Christ is risen. Alleluia!
These words proclaiming Christ’s resurrection are central to our faith in God’s overwhelming love for us. Each Easter celebration, with hearts and souls full of hope for the future, supports each Christian in the faith that God’s goodness is more powerful than the greatest evil. Easter is our time to celebrate the truth of the power of God to change our hearts from despair to hope, from sorrow to joy and from death to life.
To be risen to new life is essential to our celebration of Easter. We, in our lives today, do not escape Good Friday’s day of suffering any more than our Lord did. We Christians are a people who know suffering is part of life, yet we are not defined by our suffering. We are defined by our love. We are a people who know struggle and hardship, yet we are not defined by such things. We are defined by our compassion. We are a people who face death, yet we are not afraid. We are defined by our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who died, yes indeed . . . and is risen. We die from an old life with him in order that we may be risen to new life with him. Alleluia! In a time when the world economy is in such turmoil, when violence continues to erupt along ethnic and racial divisions, when peace seems so distant, Easter assures us of a future. The power of Christ’s victory over death empowers us to choose life over death. In choosing life we find new possibilities unfolding before us. Is it possible that the Christian community in the Land of the Holy One will be strengthened in its witness for peace and reconciliation? Is it possible that politicians and those who shape public opinion will lay their agendas aside and use their God-given gifts and talents to work for peace with justice for all people? Is it possible that the lion and lamb will rest together without fear of one another? Is it possible a world economy may be created in which poverty and the destructive exploitation of God’s creation is ended? Is it possible that someone might love us all so much that he would die for us, even die on a cross? Is it possible that God’s power of love overcame death once and for all for you and for all who believe? Easter is the time to celebrate all that is possible with God, for with God all things are possible. Alleluia. Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia! Happy Easter!