Dear Parish Family,
“Peace be with you.” John 20:19, 21, 26
In troubled times we need to hear these words of the risen Christ. The disciples had scattered in fear. Peter had denied he ever knew Jesus because he was afraid. Mary and John had witnessed the horror of the crucifixion close enough to hear Jesus speak from the cross. The disciples were lost, leaderless, and overwhelmed with grief. Although He had told them differently, their hope in Jesus died on the cross. So much of the world lives in this type of fear. They feel lost, abandoned by society, the Church and God. “What hope is there for me?” This is the very reason Jesus’ first declaration to the community is “Peace be with you.” Without the inner peace of Christ the chaos and noise of the world is overwhelming.
The Peace of Christ is the foundation upon which we begin to rebuild our lives. To still our hearts and minds and just believe. To ground our minds in such a state of peace that we are able to see past the chaos, fear and hatred which surrounds us, and seeks to control us, to see the glory of the risen Christ in our world. I am using the phrase “to see past” purposely. Chaos, fear, and hatred are always around us in greater or lesser degrees. The world did not change with the resurrection, people’s lives did. Yes, people of faith do influence the world, but they never changed the fact that we battle “sin/evil in high places.” We put on the armour of God daily.
This Easter, amidst all the joy and colour of our celebration, I want us to remember that although we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death, we need to hear His words, “now go forth.” We are now the bearers of the Light of Christ. We are now the expression of God’s grace and forgiveness. We are now the Peace of Christ in the midst of the dark storms of life. Christ’s work on the Cross is done but our work of making that eternal statement of salvation a living thing is renewed daily in our lives and in the lives we influence in this world.
My God bless and strengthen you and your family in your high calling of living and proclaiming the saving love of God. The Reverend Canon David warren