Bishop Ruth's Easter Message

13th April 2022

The days leading up to Easter are an opportunity for preparation for a holiday… invitations to family and friends to join in the holidays, for a roast lamb lunch, a chocolate egg hunt, and Easter bunnies and bonnets galore. 

However, in the Christian tradition the two weeks approaching Easter are Passiontide when we reflect on the meaning of that word ‘passion’.  ‘Passion’ has several meanings and evokes both the intensity of a great love and the suffering of Christ, the one who loved us so much he gave everything. 

In a world where we see the extremes of both great love and untold suffering my hope would be that we do not turn lightly to the festivities of Easter before recognising the challenges of getting there.  The story of Jesus is one where we hear of a God whose love was so great that he could not turn away from people who largely ignored him.  In fact, he wanted to come and live amongst us, become as one of us, sharing in the pain and reality of life.

He knew what it was to live in impoverished circumstances, to have to run from home to safety in a foreign land whilst a child.  He experienced life where his country was ruled by invaders.  He was vilified by the religious elite for speaking words of truth and integrity.  His recognition of those overlooked, marginalised, and despised through offering a tender touch or an outstretched hand, spoke of his valuing of all as equal and yet led to rejection of himself.

During Passiontide we pray these words…’May we walk this day in the way of the cross and always be ready to share its weight, declaring your love for the world.’

As we pray for Ukraine and Russia, may our actions match our words.  And closer to home as we carry the burdens of those we know and love, may we discover the hope of the one who suffered death but who opened a gate to new life and love.

May you know God’s Easter blessings!

 

+Ruth