The Lord is Risen!
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The Lord is Risen!
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Alleluia, the Lord is Risen!
What a joy it is to have walked the way of the Cross with all of you through Lent and now rejoice in our hope in the Risen Lord Jesus. It was truly a privilege to participate in the worship of several of our congregations during these weeks of Lent, and to see such faithfulness in worship makes my heart glad!
At the great Easter Vigil we read from Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome,
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”Romans 6:4
Many of you will recall the old hymn, “Victory in Jesus.” Here in Romans 6, Paul declares our victory in Jesus over sin and death. In Christ, because of his death and resurrection, we can walk in newness of life! This is our hope, and as the Church we are called like the women at the empty tomb to “go and tell.”
This is an exciting time in the life of our Diocese. We are at little over a month away from our Strategic Planning Event in Tallahassee May 15–17. Thank you for your faithfulness to fast and pray for this gathering of leaders from across the Diocese. In addition, we are only days away from the Global Anglican Future Conference in Kigali, Rwanda (April 17-21) as Anglican leaders from around the world seek to be faithful to Christ’s command to preach the Hope of the Resurrection to all people. There is great excitement around a new day for the Anglican Communion, as we uphold faithfulness to the Gospel and biblical authority over our life together. But even as I share excitement with you about these events, this is not our hope, this is not where we place our trust. These events are, we pray, faithful responses to our ultimate hope.
That hope is in the victory of Jesus at His resurrection. To quote the Kenyan liturgy, “All our Hope, we set on the Risen Christ.” This is the hope we declare even in the face of hard news, or difficult circumstances: Victory in Jesus. As we gather for worship each Sunday, we declare victory over the world—not the people of the world, whom God made and loves (even though they crucified him), but rather his victory over the systems of the world that perpetrate selfishness, impose pain, and oppression, and seek to kill, steal and destroy (because of the evil one working within them). Dr. Allen Ross has written, “the world will always oppose the people of God, because the People of God declare Christ’s victory over the World.” Yet, our victory in Jesus is sure, and His resurrection is our assurance.
My prayer for each of you is that more and more each day you will be transformed by reality of Christ’s victory, and walk in newness of life. Friends, I write to you today confident that Jesus rose from the dead on that first Easter morning, and I believe the power of God present in Jesus is available to us each day. Though this world may throw its very worst at us to try and discourage or crush our spirit, though it may try and distract us from the things of God, Jesus, has won our victory and he will have the final word.
The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!