An Easter Message in Times of Pandemic from the Argentina Federation of Evangelical Churches
The Argentina Federation of Evangelical Churches (FAIE) is an ecumenical council of churches established in 1957. Its purposes, among others, are to manifest the unity of Jesus Christ existing among the churches and evangelical entities of Argentina and to promote greater cooperation between them; study the needs of evangelization, Christian education, work among the youth, the relations between the Churches and society, social action and other questions pertaining to the work of the evangelical churches. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Argentina, one of our long-standing partners in the country, is an active member of the Federation.
In this time of Lent and Holy Week, the Federation submitted the following message to the churches, the people of Argentina and the world.
For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3.1 (NRSV)
In these days of the Christian liturgical calendar, those of Lent, followed by Easter of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, our Christ, in whom we see humanity represented and redeemed. Lent is a time of contrition, reflection, and recognition of our weaknesses and sins. The week of the Passion prods us to the sufferings we experience, but also to the maximum expression of surrender and love. The Resurrection is the breath of hope, the affirmation of life, the renewal of what was created, the presence of the divine Spirit.
In the times we live, the recent history of humanity, there is a bit of everything. The pandemic makes us review our attitudes as humans, forces us to rethink our ways of life, and recognize our limitations. We also see how the sins of discrimination, the arrogance of the powerful, the wealthy’s greed, selfishness that isolates, and hatred that poisons the spirits. At the same time, the virus afflicts the body, is all brought into evidence once again. It is Lent and the Passion of a globalized world. The god of money and fundamentalisms of all kinds darken human relationships and in opposition to all creation.
Passover is a time that brings to mind the justice of God when He liberated the people of Israel from oppression and slavery. It moves us forward to the justice of divine grace. Jesus, through his loving surrender on the cross, allows us to value the disposition of those that, out of their lives and in solidarity and altruism, put themselves in the front lines to fight the virus through knowledge and attention to sick people. He makes us see those who collaborate in alleviating the social and economic consequences that it entails.
The Resurrection we celebrate is not “the return to normality” of an unequal world, where a few accumulate indecent fortunes. At the same time, millions suffer in poverty, deprived of what is essential for life, wandering without meaning or expectations, expelled from their territories due to misery, wars, or the destruction of the environment. Hope is not limited to the vaccine but brings the message of “a new creation,” the possibility of triumph of love over death, the vision of a world where injustices are overcome. Prejudices are disarmed for us to live fuller lives, open to the new God wants to do in our humanity, eager for redemption. These we celebrate in faith during this Easter season. This we hope and pray for the good of our peoples.
By the Board of Directors of the Argentina Federation of Evangelical Churches.