Greetings of grace and peace from the Council for World Mission!
I hope you had an enriching season of lent and Spirit-filled preparation for encountering the risen Lord.
Easter is a special time to give thanks for the life of Jesus and the living hope he brought us through his resurrection. It is a time for families and communities to come together and celebrate the rising of new life as the resurrection of Jesus gives us the power to rise above death and despair. It is a time to remember the promise of new beginnings.
Our society is surrounded by various forms of life-threatening forces denying life to many people. Filled with greed and self-centred motives, the corrupted rich and powerful are not only denying justice and peace to the poor and vulnerable but also destroying the life-giving systems. As a result, we are witnessing numerous forms of human-made disasters threatening all life on this planet earth. It is in this context of life-threatening forces, we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.
While the death of Jesus demonstrates how vulnerable our lives are in the midst of injustice, the resurrection proves that the forces of death cannot hold us captive. Despite the power of death and the forces of evil, Jesus’s resurrection made all the difference. Jesus broke the chains of death and rose to life. He was the ultimate example of “Rising to Life” in the midst of life-threatening forces.
In John 11: 25-26, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” This is the assurance that we get from the resurrection of Christ. Christ rose from the dead so that we will have life.
Christ’s resurrection is a guarantee that death cannot hold us captive. The power of His Resurrection gives us hope, comfort and courage even in the toughest of times.
Christ’s resurrection gives us confidence that we, too, can rise to life to flourish together with life, even in the midst of life-threatening forces.
Let us, therefore, celebrate this Easter knowing that Christ’s resurrection enables us to rise to life and hope for communities that flourish together with peace and justice.
Rev. Lydia Neshangwe