Sunday, 12 April 2020 08:42

Bishop Libby's Easter Message 2020

Alleluia is the Easter refrain: ‘Alleluia. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.’

Alleluia means ‘God be praised’ – and it may not seem there is much to praise God for this morning.

But for Christians the Easter story is the ultimate reminder that love conquers all

– that even death cannot defeat love.

‘Alleluia’ can be our song even, especially, in the midst of pain and uncertainty.

For the Easter ‘Alleluia’ is never arrogant or overbearing, it’s not blind to reality but deeply rooted in it.

Easter day is only possible after Good Friday.

The Easter story reminds us that love conquers all

– and nothing, nothing, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus

Early in his ministry Jesus outlined the characteristics of the Kingdom of God, and those who seek that Kingdom, in words that we call ‘the Beatitudes’. In them

Jesus turned the world’s understanding of what matters on its head, affirming the blessedness of those usually overlooked or scorned.

This week the cartoonist Dave Walker has rewritten the Beatitudes.

You might write your own, but here are his:

Blessed are those who stay indoors for they have protected others

Blessed are the unemployed and self-employed for their need of God is great

Blessed are the … shopkeepers for they are the purveyors of scarce things

Blessed are the delivery drivers and the postal workers for they are the bringers of essential things

Blessed are the hospital workers, the ambulance crews, the doctors, the nurses, the care assistants and the cleaners for they stand between us and the rgave, and the Kingdom of heaven is surely theirs

Blessed are the checkout workers and factory workers for they have patience and fortitude in the face of overwork and frustration

Blessed are the refuse collectors for they will see God despite the mountains of waste

Blessed are the teachers for they remain steadfast and constant in disturbing times

Blessed are the church workers (and faith leaders) for they are a comforting presence in a hurting world as they continue to signpost towards God

Blessed are the single parents for they are coping alone with their responsibilities and there is no respite

Blessed are those who are alone, for they are children of God and with Him they will never be lonely

Blessed are the bereaved, for whom the worst has already happened: they shall be comforted

Blessed are those who are isolated with their abusers for one day – we pray – they will know safety

Blessed are all during this time who have pure hearts; all who still hunger and thirst for justice; all who work for peace and model mercy.

Today, I do praise God for the hope that Jesus’ death and resurrection offers us all.

Today, I praise God for the signs of hope overcoming the pressures, limitations, and losses we currently face.

So, today, albeit quietly, I sing ‘Alleluia’

- and pray for you the grace, mercy, and peace of the risen Jesus this Easter.

Last modified on Sunday, 12 April 2020 09:31