Message from Bishop Robert, 2 April 2024

Published: Tuesday April 2, 2024

Bishop RobertIt was a privilege this year to spend Holy Week with one of our rural multi-parish benefices, sharing in worship in each of the churches.

Together we lived the journey with Jesus from the triumphal entry to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; through the early days of the week as the crowds faded away; into the drama of Maundy Thursday with Jesus sharing the last supper with his disciples and washing their feet; then the agony of the garden, betrayal and arrest; to Good Friday and trial, crucifixion and death. A pause then before the dawn of Easter and the wonder as we join with Mary Magdalene at the entrance to the tomb. We see that things are different, the stone has been removed, Christ is risen, and death defeated.

Two great celebrations in the Cathedral punctuated this worship in the benefice. The first was on Maundy Thursday when Bishop Rachel and I were joined by clergy and parishioners from across the Diocese to renew our commitment to ministry and to consecrate the oils to be used in the coming year in baptism, confirmation and ordination and for the anointing of the sick and dying. Then again in the darkness of the Saturday night, Bishop Rachel and I led the Easter Vigil at which some 19 men, women and young people were baptised and confirmed. These people make their ‘yes’ to following Jesus Christ, risen from the dead with life for all, as the one in whom life in all its fullness is to be found.

It was indeed quite a week, where triumph and disaster met, and love won… it was good to have a bit of a rest on Monday! However, this is just the beginning. The Easter Season which starts on Easter Sunday lasts for the next 50 days and takes us to Pentecost. This is a good reminder that having encountered the risen Lord on Easter morning, seeing that things are indeed different, we are now called as the Church to live out the new life we have discovered in our daily lives, in our communities, amid the stuff of everyday life. The resurrection is not just for Easter morning but for Monday, Tuesday, and every day that follows. It’s another reason I was glad to share this week with some of our parishes for it is precisely here, in each of our communities, that we are called to make Christ’s life and love known.

The lilies that decorate our church (and they are beautiful) will themselves also fade, but the joy of this season does not. My challenge for this Easter Week as life returns to normal is thus this. How might we live, in the midst of the every day of life a new normal of resurrection life? A new normal, confident not to dismiss that which challenges us and our world, the challenges of war and inhumanity, the struggles of family and the every day, but to say, even in the face of this, that Christ is indeed risen and that the darkness will not defeat us.

In Jesus, love has won!

Like the first glimmers of light on Easter morning, I suspect it will begin small. It will begin with an attitude of mind and a deliberate decision to think and act differently, not to give in to pessimism, but to speak and act positively and confidently. To be light and love to our neighbours, our communities and our world. We proclaim together, Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!


Bishop Robert's signature

2 thoughts on “Message from Bishop Robert, 2 April 2024

  1. Thank you Bishop Robert for your uplifting letter. Just as Mary met with Jesus, on that Easter morning, we also can meet with our Lord Jesus every day of the week. We can meet with Jesus in prayer

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