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Easter message from SVG Christian Council

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Fri May 2, 2014

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council joins the Christian Community at home and abroad in celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We wish the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines Peace, Love, Joy, and Hope in this season of the Risen Christ.{{more}}

When we think of the Resurrection, we are often reminded that Christ died for our sins and rose so that we have Eternal Life. It may be difficult for us to understand how this is relevant to our daily lives. The Resurrection affirms and celebrates the triumph of life over death, good above evil and embraces hope rather than despair. These principles are fundamental teachings of the Bible to be found in the Church’s Message of Salvation and Witness in our world. They provide the basis for Christian commitment to a peaceful and just society.

How does one make sense of the Resurrection of Christ amidst the numerous global economic, social, political, and religious challenges of the 21st century, which threatens the very survival of humanity?

You do not have to look far and long to become alarmed and concerned at the state of our world. A quick look through our local newspapers and around our community provides evidence of poverty, child abuse, violence, victimisation, fear, and a major decline in our moral fibre.

Certainly, for many of us, this leaves a deep sense of hopelessness, especially as we face our own personal struggles. However, the lesson of the Resurrection gives us hope that we can face them head on; that there is the possibility for improvement and rebirth just as Jesus Christ’s resurrection is a chance for new opportunities, rejuvenation and restoration of life; if only we are open to it.

The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 28 describes Mary Magdalene and the other Mary frightened and bothered by the earthquake and empty tomb: “And suddenly there was a great earthquake…The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said’ (28:2, 5 & 6).”

These words of assurance must have overwhelmed the women first with awe, but the assurance contained therein must have, not much later, filled them with a sense of gladness. For as Matthew reports, “they hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy and ran to tell the disciples”…(28:8), more than ample evidence that the reality of the Resurrection brings hope and joy, not fear.

Similarly, we are called upon to forge forward and share the hope and joy of the Resurrection not only within ourselves, but with all whom we come into contact.

As described in the Christian Council’s Easter message for 2009, one of the Church’s greatest challenges is “dealing with society’s tendency to reject the moral teachings of the Church and its cry to return to traditional values and standards”. In 2014 this challenge is still very much alive, particularly with the fast development of technology and accessibility to information. However, just as these women understood their responsibility to spread this good news to the disciples and in turn the disciples to people everywhere, so too it is the Church and community’s responsibility and duty to play an active role in spreading the news of the Resurrection and its meaning of hope. We must work to improve the state of our community. It is our duty to help our neighbours, our children, the indigent and those who just need a helping hand. In these difficult times we must begin to re-evaluate what it means for families and communities to work together, to help one another, to stand together and rebuild trust and faith.

In being so committed and acting accordingly, we will avoid the danger of becoming flippant in our understanding of our situation; we will recognize that perhaps we have been half-hearted in our actions as servants of the Risen Christ; and instead arm ourselves with the courage to rise to the occasion as we go forth into the world.

As Christians, washed in the hope and joy of the Resurrection, we will overcome the death that comes from the paralysis of fear.

The Christian Council urges all Christians to join us in spreading the news of the Resurrection and work together towards the realisation of hope and fellowship that Christ’s death and Resurrection was meant to offer. That this hope and fellowship is shared not only amongst Christians, but that we reach out to every member of society, no matter their station, conviction or limitations.

Let us rise together and celebrate in the powerfulness of faith, brotherhood, truth, health, generosity, and rejoice in the joy of life. We pray at this time that “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13.) Allelluia and Amen!!

Blessed Easter.

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