Presiding Bishop's Easter Message
Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, This message comes to you with all the joy and pageantry of the great Easter Day celebrations. Today we stand in wonder before the central moment of the Christian Faith: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As brief as the time between Good Friday and Easter Day may seem, those three days represent an eternity of love, forgiveness, reconciliation and grace. Yet, even as we write these words, we know that they, or indeed all human words, can never fully express everything that is conveyed in the profound and timeless message of Easter. Easter Day represents the triumph of God over sin and death. In the Cross, Jesus atones for the sins of us all, seeking to return us to Him for all time. As St. Augustine reminds us, the atonement is a full payment that frees us from just enslavement to Satan. Easter is that moment that looses our bonds to sin and death. Our freedom is not bound by this temporal life. Easter Day is God's powerful message that we are, by His grace, offered the gift of eternal life. During His life with us, Jesus continually taught the way of God. His parables, simple and at the same time profound, sought to draw us closer to our true calling as children of God. Jesus lived with us for a time. He experienced all we will ever know of this world. On Easter Day, He teaches us something that we will come to know in the fullness of time. Recently, someone reminded me of the symbol of the rainbow. This symbol appears only twice in all of Scripture. A rainbow, that beautiful presence that often occurs after a thunderstorm, is mentioned twice in “The Revelation of St. John the Divine.” The symbol conveys the message that the rainbow we see in this life represents only half of the beauty available to us. The other half is in heaven with God. May you all experience the great joy of God's ever-present love this Eastertide. Your Brother in Christ,