Bishop Lull: Pastoral Message for Easter

Date posted: Wednesday 28 March 2018

A young boy carries flowers down the streets of San Antonio Palopó, Guatemala, during Lent. Photo by Bishop Lull.

In the coming hours, we in the Christian community will pass through a remembrance of the events that led Jesus to the cross, the stark silence of the day he lay dead in the tomb, and the startling, nearly unbelievable news that Jesus had been raised from the dead. For centuries, Christian pilgrims have relived these poignant moments in Jerusalem and in cathedrals, great and small. Whether portrayed in pageantry in the streets of Guatemala or embraced in the poetry of liturgy and song in this synod, we are called again and again to remember the story that frames the way we live our lives as people of faith.


This year, many have walked this Holy Week route through the real time events of the world. Public marches and bedside vigils, hopes raised and dashed, prayers for reform and healing, cries of lament and despair, pleas for hope to be born anew. We live in a world of immigrating and trafficked children, grieving classmates, and empowered voices - black, brown, suburban, rural, young, and old.


We have found our place in the crowd and among the bystanders. We long for a justice that is more lasting than our own efforts at negotiation and legislation. We know a weariness and a broken-heartedness that places us shoulder to shoulder with those, who once stood mute before the cross, and with millions around the world who are bone tired of violence and poverty, warfare and injustice.


And here’s the news, friends. Let me warn you that it is as fresh and gracious, as startling and surprising, as it was when the grieving women were interrupted on their way to anoint the body of their beloved friend, Jesus. “He has been raised. He is not here. ... He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” (Mark 16:6-7)


Our pilgrim lives do not end on Easter Sunday when the news of Christ’s resurrection is again proclaimed. If it depended on our own stamina, I suppose pastors and church folk would say “enough-” and our songs of praise would wind down abruptly for another year. But thanks be to God, the good news of Easter is God’s good news for us. For you, dear one. And our God is not tired out when the sun of Easter morning rises. Every day, our God is mightily present in the life of the Risen Christ in the very midst of this world.


So get ready. Get Easter-ready for a life that does not depend on your hard work or our high hopes but is the gift of life rooted in the power of Christ’s resurrection. May the joy of this surprising news give you encouragement to live everyday as a person of faith in Jesus Christ and to be a lifelong pilgrim on the resurrection way.


Yours in the joy of that good news -

Bishop Patricia Lull