Easter Sunday, 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,

It is true:  the grave is empty.  What the women said they found when they came to the tomb of Jesus early on the first day of the week— first the absence of death, then the presence of eternal life— all is true.  Christ is Risen:  It is both an end and a beginning. 

It is the end of death and the end of fear, the end of sin and condemnation, the end of everything in us that seeks to kill us.  It is the end of false motives and false hearts.  It is the end of lies and the end of the Father of Lies.  It is the end of hate, and the end of every dominion built on hate.    

It is the beginning of life and the beginning of love, the beginning of mercy and of virtue, the root of every good and perfect gift bestowed on us by the Father of Lights.  It is the beginning of true minds and true spirits, planted and growing in anyone who asks for them.  It is the beginning of joy and the gateway to the Kingdom of God.

Let us spend the next fifty days acting on what we know to be true.  If there is someone we need to forgive, let us ask for the grace to forgive them and to be reconciled.  If there is a stranger near us, someone who does not look like us or think like us, let us reach out to them, and ask to begin to know them. Above all let us find a public voice for our personal faith, speak and act in the world as those who know the Good News of Christ and His Resurrection.

Friends, the times are fearful.  Anxiety and suspicion are everywhere, it seems. Only God has the power to heal our divisions and point the way forward.  That way begins at the Cross, moves through the Empty Tomb, and continues into the world.  The risen Christ walks ahead of us and calls us to follow him.  Let us do so in acts of mercy and justice, make known this Good News in deeds as well as words, and invite others to join us. 

May the joy and power of the Resurrection be with you always!

Faithfully your bishop,

(The Rt. Rev.) Dorsey W.M. McConnell, D.D.