Thoughts from a pastor who understands himself to be classically Wesleyan in theology and who embraces a Wesleyan/Anglican view of liturgy and the sacraments.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
A Reflection on Easter from the World Methodist Council
One of the deepest convictions of the Easter story is; Christ is Risen. He is Risen Indeed. Alleluia. The Easter message is that of unlimited, boundless grace, victory, joy and hope because in Christ’s resurrection death has been overcome.
In William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, death is described as, “The undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns”. (Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1) Christians however believe that one did return and his name is Jesus, the Christ.
The story of Jesus would have been nothing more than an occasional point of reference of an inspirational teacher, a charismatic figure or martyr if it had simply ended with the crucifixion but Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave on the third day. For this reason we are people of the resurrection. We are a people who know that we cannot have Easter without Good Friday. We cannot have Christ without a cross which is a symbol of a compassionate, loving God who identifies with human suffering. The cross is God’s instrument of salvation. No other faith speaks of a suffering God who opposes injustice and oppression.
Theologians like Jürgen Moltmann (The Crucified God), James Cone (God of the Oppressed), Kazoh Kitamori (The Pain of God), Maria Pilar Aquino (Our Cry for Life) Mercy Odduyoye (Beads and Strands) and Allan Boesak (Farewell to Innocence) who all lived through their own modern day Golgotha’s in their various countries. Their scholarship bear eloquent testimony to this suffering God who is the hope and salvation of the world.
Throughout history, God uses human beings, the signet of God’s creation to continue the healing and transforming ministry of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
It is my sincere prayer that we will all know the hope, joy and peace of Easter.
Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed. Alleluia.
Ivan Abrahams General Secretary, World Methodist Council
(The reflection, above, was originally sent via email from the WMC)