There are three significant promises in the Easter stories. First, God offered us eternal life. Secondly, God will actively engage us in this life. Thirdly, we can create kind and caring communities. God wishes these promises to give us hope.

God has not promised that our lives will be without suffering and sadness. We grapple with depression, despair, and death. Yet, God directs our gaze in a different direction. God invites us to consider how we will navigate our life. We know life will confront us with the upsetting and challenging. But, through it all, we endeavour to be people of hope and love.

In some world views, our span of existence goes from conception to death. They see nothing more. A Christian worldview holds that God knows us throughout all time. God calls people into being and invites them to be part of his life forever. The more people know of God’s ways, the more God expects people to abide by them. We know God’s love and God wants us to express that love.

Many people without an explicit faith embrace the hope of heaven. They cherish the idea that their loved ones are with God and that, one day, there will be a great reunion. They, too, carry the hope of eternal life. Many people who do not see themselves as religious are committed to making the world a better place. They strive to be a good person making good choices.

At Easter, Christians put forward their view of the world. The hope that guides them comes from God. They base their confidence in the story of Jesus – who died and returned to life. They place all of life in the context of a bigger story.

Hope is difficult to sustain when disaster strikes. I am not sure there has been a time in human history without calamity. Our world, right now, seems filled with toxicity.

Greed, selfishness, abuse of power, and oppression fill our news feeds. The first Easter was no different. Jesus experienced the controlling violence of both the Roman Empire and status seeking civic leaders. The writers of the New Testament testify to their experience that God is with them. They are never alone.

In the Christian worldview, God assures of his presence. God guides us towards love and helps us see the blessing of love in our lives. People show love in kindness towards a stranger in need or in supporting a close friend. We see love in true reconciliation. We experience love when we forgive someone or are forgiven.

Christians place their confidence in Jesus’s promise that they will continue to know God blessing them and others. Whether in the moment or in hindsight, we can be grateful for God’s guiding hand.

The final aspect of the Easter story is God calling people to be with each other. The church is not a building or institutions. It is the multitude of disciples who desire to live the Way of Jesus. The Church, in this description, is at its best when its charity, integrity, and goodwill is clear.

Since the earliest days of Christianity, this has often been an ideal to strive for rather than the day-to-day experience. Church people are to understand being like Christ is a lifetime journey. People who know that they get things wrong and commit to renewing the way they live. People who support and sustain others as they experience the joys and challenges of life.

I wish for you all the hope of Easter and the courage to live the Way of Jesus.


Bishop Peter

Some news

A few weeks ago, Bishop Peter shared the news with the Diocese that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He and his family appreciate the messages of goodwill and support. So far, the news and prognosis are very good. He says: “the Christian hope is a great source of encouragement to me.”

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