As I write this letter the Church throughout the world continues to celebrate the 50 days of unremitting joy that is the Easter season. These days remind us that, as Christians, we are a people who live in the light of God’s great love for us and of his victory over sin and death witnessed to in the mighty resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we do so, we continue to live with another truth – the reality of pain and loss that mark so many people’s lives. Especially we think of those who know the cost of discipleship through persecution. The recent devastating events in the terrorist attacks in Shri Lanka are testament to all that intolerance and hatred is capable of. The bombings of churches on Easter day show that the forces that led to Jesus’ own death on a cross are still there and that they persist in trying to force their agenda of fear and death.
I would ask that you remember in prayer those caught up in such awful circumstances. These sort of events were not new in the time of Christ’s life and ministry among us nor were they unknown to the early church, where thousands went to their death for the faith they held. But the forces of evil of prejudice and of threat did not, in the end, prevail. The opposite was the case as the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the Church.
These 50 days of Easter are days of rejoicing, not because we are somehow unaware of the harsh realities of life. They are days of rejoicing because we live in the light of a greater truth; that, in Christ, life is stronger than death and love is more powerful than hate. His resurrection victory is something to be celebrated, not just because of a future hope, but because the way of life and love is also ours here and now. Love shown forth in our actions and our attitudes.
May the Easter hope continue to be the primary reality of our daily living; that we may serve the Lord and one another in joy and hope.
Yours in the faith,