Message from Bishop Rachel, as published in the Citizen Easter 2023
As I look around at our communities, country and world, I am aware of a sense of so much and so little in all the reporting of bad news.
So much devastation and pain in the face of war, earthquakes, storms and more. So little resource in the face of famine, corruption and poverty. Across our world it seems that people who have so little suffer so much.
In our country we hear of so much stress on our public services, with too few people with such little resource; and across our communities there are those who seem to have so much and those who seem to have so little, not least when it comes to financial wealth.
As we live amid this bad news, sometimes that combination of so much and so little can lead to a sense of fear and despair, yet the message of Easter is that hope takes the prize in the ‘so much’ category, and there is the possibility of transformation in the ‘so little’ of our hearts.
On the cross, Jesus Christ seems to have been stripped of everything. Gone is that excitement which had surrounded the baby lying in the first Christmas manger, proclaimed as God’s son and the rescuer of the world. Yet, despite so much sadness and despair on that cruel crucifixion Friday, it can still be named ‘Good’ as the overwhelming love and forgiveness of God is poured out.
And three days later on the first Easter morning when some women go to the tomb where Jesus had been buried they find so little – the tomb is empty. Yet this is because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and the generous life, love and hope of God are so much stronger than despair and fear, and so much more powerful than even death itself. Good news.
I don’t have the answers to so much suffering in our world and the so little of so many, but I do know that the mysterious love of God is so much more than I can ever understand or imagine.
I don’t know what you are living when it comes to the so much or so little of joy and pain, resources, or life’s delights and struggles, but I do know that you are not little to God, and that God loves you so much with a love stronger than even death itself. I also know that the kindness, generosity and love we can live in our daily lives, which might seem so little in our vast world, can actually make a big difference to those around us and even to the lives of those far away.
I wish you a hope-filled Easter.