An Easter message from Bishop Elaine

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
 Where, O death, is your sting?”

– 1 Corinthians 15:54b-55

Beloved of God,

This is a hard scripture. We have stood in the shadow of death. We feel its sting.
In hospital emergency rooms
On war-torn streets
As neighbors stalk joggers
In a smoke-choked subway station
As storm, flood and wildfire snatch the innocent.

Death’s shadows – sorrow, fear, anger, despair – darken our days. How can we sing “Alleluia” when death is as close as your phone and the TV? 

On Easter morning, I will look toward the east. The sun will rise, push back the shadows and shed its warm light upon the earth. But what about the shadows in our hearts that haunt our spirits? The sun does not simply chase those away. 

In the Bible, we walk with Jesus of Nazareth as he meets all kinds of people. We listen as he speaks to the reality of their lives, and we learn that Jesus also knows us, recognizes us, and shares our struggles, sin and sorrow. And knowing us inside and out, Jesus loves us. It’s like dawn breaking!

But it’s easy to wander into the shadows and forget that Jesus loves us. So, in faith, we love each other in ways that remind us of Jesus’ love. And we strive to love people who don’t know God’s love, just like Jesus loves us and like we love each other. Love is how hope rises like the sun. Love soothes the sting of death. Love is the spiritual light that can’t be put out, that has the power to save us at the end of our ropes. 

Therefore, my beloved friends, “be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Christ is Risen! Love never ends, on Easter and through the longest, darkest nights. 

Alleluia.

Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky

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