Easter message - Bishop of St Davids
As Christians we are people of hope, says Bishop Joanna Penberthy in her Easter message.
As we follow Jesus and his disciples through Holy Week to the Cross and the borrowed tomb, we receive once more, with the women, the baffling proclamation of the angel, “He is risen, he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you.”
This pandemic year has been a year when the Christian message of God with us in our suffering has been a powerful one.
We cannot explain why God allows suffering but, as Christians, our faith does not seek to shirk its reality.
On the Cross of Good Friday and the tomb of Holy Saturday, we acknowledge it, year by year. We bring our tears, our grief and sometimes our rage.
The resurrection is not a tidy theological answer. The resurrection itself does not “wipe away every tear from every eye” or end “mourning or crying or pain” but it is our pledge of what we believe will be. As St Paul says in 1 Corinthians, Jesus is “the first fruits of those who sleep”. It is a pledge of more to come and it makes us as Christians, people of hope.
It is important to remember that hope is not always an emotion. It can be. Hope can be something you feel but sometimes it is a discipline. When we do not feel hopeful, it is something that we choose to practise. As Christians, we are those who have chosen to live as people who hope in the God who raised Jesus from death to life. Even in a year like this one, which has taken its toll, we are people, who, even when we do not feel it, choose to hope in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is what we proclaim and celebrate at Easter: Jesus, who was crucified, rose from the empty tomb to break bread with those whom he met on the Emmaus road. He appeared behind locked doors in Jerusalem and cooked breakfast over an open fire in Galilee. And those who met the risen Jesus went and told the world, who in the end told us. We have become people who live in hope.
Alleluia Christ is Risen. He is risen indeed Alleluia. A very blessed Easter to you all.