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An Easter message from The Bishop of Chelmsford

Faith Matters / Wed 27th Mar 2024 at 09:36am

ONCE again, the message of Easter hope and resurrection life breaks into a world that is full of

sorrow, conflict and pain. How can we possibly make sense of this central event – the one that

everything else in the Christian faith hangs on – when all the evidence seems to point away from it?

When much of the time it feels like death and hatred and evil have the final say, rather than life and

love and hope? Both on a global scale, but perhaps personally too, for there is so much suffering and

loss.

Well, if you rely on your emotions, on how you feel at any particular moment and in response to any

specific event that might make you happy or sad – if you rely on your feelings, then faith is indeed a

fickle thing. For sometimes God can feel close and other times far away. But the truth at the heart of

the Gospel is that God, through Christ, is ever present, whatever is going on and whether or not we

experience that closeness or not. I have these words of Karl Jung hanging in the hallway of our

home, and I look at them every time I come in or go out: “Bidden or not bidden, God is present.”

God was present on Good Friday, just as much as on Easter Day. The important thing is not to

confuse our experiences and emotions – whether we feel the nearness of God or not – with the

reality of Easter resurrection.

There’s no denying that embracing this requires a leap of faith. No logic or experiment will prove the

existence of God or convince you of the Easter story. But faith knows more. In the words of the

French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, The heart has reasons, of which reason knows

nothing. On Easter morning, Christ rose from the dead and broke the power of death and hatred

through the strength of his love and sacrifice. As Christians we try to embody that in the way we live

our lives, in the service of others, speaking out against injustice, seeking to respond in love wherever

there is hate.

This is the Easter story, and it is ours to tell. It is challenging, mysterious and life changing. It offers

light and hope in the midst of darkness, and I commend it to you wholeheartedly. For, Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed, Alleluia.

I wish you a joyful and blessed Easter.

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7 Comments for An Easter message from The Bishop of Chelmsford:

David Forman
2024-03-27 10:47:28

I notice the Bishop mentions "speaking out against injustice" in her sermon. As the Bishop is part of a church that profited from slavery I would have thought that was a grave injustice that needed an apology, plus an awful lot of penitence.

Now for the penitence.
2024-03-27 12:41:16

Yes, indeed David, PSB: https://www.churchofengland.org/about/leadership-and-governance/church-commissioners-england/who-we-are/church-commissioners-links https://www.barrons.com/news/church-of-england-body-apologises-for-past-slavery-links-01673353509 https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/feb/09/religion.world https://www.africanews.com/2023/01/10/church-of-england-apologizes-for-links-to-slavery// https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61834511 https://www.thecable.ng/slave-trade-church-of-england-apologises-for-shameful-past-sets-up-100m-fund https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/11/church-of-england-says-it-knew-of-slavery-links https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/apology-church-commissioners-england-archbishop-bounty-b2272913.html

Matthew Gillman
2024-03-28 04:00:03

Perhaps the most famous Bible verse tells us why Jesus came to Earth, was born as a human baby, allowed Himself to be crucified, and conquered death by rising again: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

Bruce Downey
2024-03-28 05:23:50

“Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.”

Pete
2024-03-28 07:39:46

Can we please have an Easter break when the weather has a better chance of being warmer ie late April. Then we can get rid of May 1st holiday and create one in October.

Alex Kyriacou
2024-03-28 18:38:18

I met Bishop Guli once. Incredible lady. I’m a different denomination to her but her story is unrivalled.

Sam Lancaster
2024-04-02 17:16:42

Thank you for the Easter message. The triumph of the cross is central to every particle of our belief. A word to and for the wise ! Forget the constant weeping and gnashing of teeth over the role of England in the 18th and early 19th century, trans Atlantic slave trade. It happened and we eventually enforced its abolition worldwide. Vikings enslaved English, Welsh and Irish people as far back as the 6th century. Muslims enslaved all across North Africa and still do ! Every race has gained by the trade in human suffering. A sad fact of life. But please , stop all this useless hand wringing. The Church of England is destroying itself from within. There are 5th columnists everywhere who do the bidding of Satan, day by day. Stand up for England and it’s English people or you will forever be consigned to the history books. He Is Risen Indeed - Hallelujah.

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