Written on 16/04/2022
Greetings to everyone in the Cathedral Community. This is my second Easter message as Dean of Derby and I am very conscious of how much has changed from when I started as Dean in July 2020.
At the time, the pandemic seemed enough for us to respond to, but the challenges before us now are even greater. The invasion of Ukraine has been deeply painful to watch and I was pleased that Derby Cathedral was able to show solidarity with the suffering people of Ukraine here in a vigil for the community of faiths.
We are facing high levels of inflation at present and many even now will be struggling to pay heating bills and to find enough resources to pay for daily essentials. For some we have lost loved ones and dear friends with whom we will not be celebrating Easter.
This year its genuinely difficult to find hope. Maybe we find ourselves resonating more with the commemoration of Good Friday and the crucifixion of Jesus, than the joy of resurrection on Easter Day.
This is understandable with the evil of unwarranted violence continuing in East Ukraine. With all our hearts we wish something could be done to stop the killing. Our minds and emotions dwell on the deep realities and consequences that the whole world faces as a result of the last 50 days of bloodshed.
This Easter is a time to remind ourselves of the difference the resurrection of Jesus makes. In the resurrection something new, unheard of, startling happens. Things that we deemed impossible become possible in the opening of the future, no longer determined by what has happened in the past.
In a few days time, this Cathedral church will be full of 8,000 white paper doves suspended from the ceiling. The exciting installation by the artist Peter Walker will be a sign to us of the deep power of resurrection and reconciliation that comes out of desolation and death.
The resurrection is not an event for the church, it is an event for all human beings, for the whole world. At the resurrection of Christ, deep down at the heart of the universe, something fundamental happens that brings a new creation into being and enables the forgiveness of sins. It means that human wickedness does not have the last word because its transformed into the creativity of peace and the restoration of humanity.
This is the difference the resurrection makes. It’s the vivid innovation of God’s love that triumphs over the heartache of the present moment.
At this necessarily sombre Eastertide, in the light of the miracle of Easter, may each of us to find the pathway to true and genuine hope. May we allow God to lead us to a new place, that place of hope – the real possibility that something radically new awaits all God’s people.
May I wish you all a very happy Easter.
Let us pray:
Risen Christ, your wounds declare your love for the world and the wonder of your risen life: give us compassion and courage to risk ourselves for those we serve, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
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