Easter Message 2011 from The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem

Easter Message 2011 from The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Salaam and warm greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from here in Jerusalem to all of our friends and partners, our brothers and sisters in Christ. The celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always a time to renew our faith and commitment as faithful people.

The mission of the Church here in the Holy City of Jerusalem and throughout the Holy Land continues to be focused on building bridges of peace and reconciliation rooted in the love of God for all his children.

St. John writes that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17) God’s love for all the world has brought us the example of the sacrificial love of his Son. This love is so great as to overcome the threat of death, the passion of the cross and the descent to the dead.

God’s love for all the world is more powerful than the grave. We celebrate this love and give thanks to God for the gift of faith which continues to overcome the challenges which confront our lives. Christians here in this land confront all the difficulties which are part of the lives of all people. We look for a better future for our children and grandchildren. We comfort one another in times of grief and sadness while we also celebrate together during times of joy and gladness. Our family life is important to us as is the wider Christian family of which we are a part. Our faith is challenged, but our faith is also renewed to greater commitment to the mission of the Church as both a pastoral presence and as an faithful witness through which God’s love may be experience by all of our neighbors, no matter their religious beliefs. The mission of Christ is to love all people, not to condemn, but to love. The mission of the Church here continues to be a source of God’s love shining the light of hope through our parishes, schools, hospitals and clinics.

The source of our celebration is and must always remain in the power of the resurrection faith of Easter morning. This is the day which defeated, once and for all, the power of death and grave to control the lives of faithful people. Our faith is renewed in the shadow of the empty cross. Our commitment finds new courage as we look into the empty tomb. Our hope for the future is strong for it is the love of God in Christ Jesus which fills our hearts.