The Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison reflects on the resurrection of Christ and how its message of hope impels us to share His Good News and pursue justice for the poor and vulnerable.
Of all the seasons of the Christian year, my favourite – easily – is Easter. Easter brings us to the beating heart of the faith that sustains millions around the world today. It is a message of hope, freedom and new life. The thrill of Easter is that while we live and die, Jesus, God incarnate, died and lived – for us. Sin and evil have been decisively defeated; death has died; the ultimate victory of love has been won. We have but to believe.
It is clear to me that only the unique reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus can account adequately for the rise of Christianity in the shape that it took. The mission of the church is nothing other than the outworking of his resurrection. That mission has a vitally important spiritual dimension which is why evangelism – communicating the good news about Jesus to others in ways that are meaningful – is a central part of the church’s task today. We are charged to go and make disciples.
Jesus’ resurrection means, however, that we must not artificially separate the spiritual and the physical as we sometimes have done. The church’s mission is also about pursuing justice and coming alongside the poor and vulnerable. It’s about running foodbanks and operating credit unions and helping out at playgroups for children of single working mums.
Easter announces Jesus to be the rightful Lord of all. His loving and just reign requires to be worked out in individual lives and in the structures of society alike.
In doing so it is appropriate to go with the grain of all good will – to work collaboratively in common causes with friends of other faiths and none.
Easter assures us that victory in this troubled world remains with love – God’s love channelled through us his people. As those who have been sent on mission, let’s commit ourselves afresh, in the power of our risen Lord, to proclaiming and embodying in the messy world we inhabit the hope-filled message of Jesus’ empty tomb. ‘The Lord is risen indeed!’
A joyous and blessed Easter to you all.