A Word from the Bishop: May 2023

On Palm Sunday, the Bishop worshipped with St. Paul's, Wawanesa. Pictured here are the Bishop, the Rector (the Rev'd Chris Evetts), and Deb Chapman, the church's lay reader.

Easter in action!” This was the phrase a Rector of mine used many years ago (long before I was ordained or preaching) to explain why Easter season continued on through the weeks after the big day. “Easter in action!” was a call for us to put into practice our faith and discipleship in light of the sufferings of Holy Week and ultimately the triumph of Jesus on Easter morning. It was a way of understanding the victory over death which Jesus had won for us, and therefore the basis of how we were to live in the light of the resurrection.

So much of putting Easter into action can be put down to living a new life, as a new humanity in a new way.  The new thing Jesus was doing in all of creation had been accomplished and so we were called to live in a way that showed forth that new life, new humanity and new world that we lived in. The readings after Easter each week assist us in facing all of the doubts and misunderstandings that follow from that new life. Thomas and his unwillingness to open his heart which had been broken only three days before. The blindness of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, reminding us of who the good shepherd really is, Jesus reassuring us that he is indeed the way to the Father, the assurance that the Spirit would not leave us orphaned and finally, just before Pentecost, Jesus prays for his disciples, that they would be one with him and with one another.

These weekly lessons are meant to strengthen us and reassure us that we have not been left alone in this new world, as a new humanity. The loss of what we knew is being comforted by God who is reassuring us that the new thing that is being done includes strength and hope for the days to come. You may not recognize it, but new life is not only on the way, it is here in your midst – now.

This mirrors the reaction of Mary Magdalene in front of the tomb on Easter morning. So focused on caring for the Lord’s body that she cannot recognize him as risen and glorified – Jesus has to call out her name in order to be recognized. Mary was determined to live out the consequences of the terror of the last three days, so determined that she couldn’t recognize the new life that was standing right before her. God is promising a new life to us, one that is so filled with his love and glory that we wouldn’t recognize it if we saw it, and those around us might not recognize us when we are in it. This is the promise of the resurrection: A new and deathless life.

So it is time to put Easter into action. Time to live in a way that opens hearts to God and sees new life around us. Time to recognize in those who are unseen or forgotten the people whom Jesus came to love and serve. Time to join in the chorus of praise and glory to the One who has made all things new around us, and in his own ultimate goal, defeated death itself.

May this Easter season continue to bless us all as we begin to recognize the gift we have been given and then grant us the will to live it out.


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