“The Lord is risen from the tomb; for our sake he hung on the Cross” Alleluia! The Easter proclamation joyfully resounds, Christ is risen! He is truly risen! He who “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried” Jesus, the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, “rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (Creed)- Pope John Paul II
Dearly beloved in the Crucified and Risen Lord,
As the days of celebrating Easter approach, I would like to convey the traditional Christian greetings to you, which affirms the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and its powerful liberating message, bringing joy and hope to the world, overcoming fear and uncertainty –
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
In 2020 the COVID- 19 pandemic had affected the whole world, and we were unable to go to the church for worship service during the Easter days. But this year amid the continuation of all this uncertainty, God almighty enabled us to participate in the worship services in person. Still, many of our people are experiencing fear and uncertainty, as well as trauma, separation, and isolation. Yet, despite these traumatic and painful situations, the message of Easter continues to be a joyful one of courage and hope.
The first experience of the disciples with the Risen Lord occurred in similar circumstances. Out of fear and to protect their lives, Jesus’ disciples gathered in a room, behind closed doors. And there the Risen Christ came and stood among them, bringing his peace. As they were startled and terrified, “He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened?… See that it is I myself.’” (Luke 24:37-39). The Risen Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). Easter is a reminder and encouragement that God in Christ continues to love and care for the whole world, overcoming death with life, conquering fear and uncertainty with hope. To those who may be tempted to explain the present situation as an expression of God’s punishment and wrath, the Easter message conveys that our God is a loving God, the source of life – not death – the God of life and love “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17).
We should remind ourselves every day that we have God’s blessings because we believe in the Risen Savior; even though in today’s world people might have a hard time to experience God’s blessings, especially when people are sick, without jobs, do not feel safe in their own homes, do not feel secure with government officials, the list can go on and on. Where are we supposed to experience blessings from God when our own life does not show it? The answer is JESUS! Yup, the same Jesus who died for all our sins. The same Jesus who defeated death, the devil and sin. The same Jesus who has blessed you with His life! In the darkness of concerns, issues and burdens of real life, the only light is Jesus. As Jesus pointed St. Paul to His name, He points us towards Him. St. Paul had concerns, burdens and issues just like us. “Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Through all the muck that our lives might show, God shows you the greatest light and blessings. The one blessing that we will always have and that will never change is that God loves you. He loves you to the extent of making sure that Easter reminds you of this wonderful gift of faith and gift of life.
Dear Seaford family members, throughout the centuries, the Easter greeting “Christ is risen!” has always infused Christians with the power and courage to confront death, destruction, oppression, enslavement, fear, doubt and uncertainty. As we all are confronted today with the challenges of COVID-19, we assure you that in these days we are united with you in prayers and in affirming together our common faith and hope in the Risen Lord: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55, 57).
May the Risen Lord shower you with blessings, love, and peace in this Easter!
In His Service
Yours Shalu Achen