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From Our Bishops

Bishop shares Easter video message

Bishop Andrew Asbil has shared a video message for Easter. You can find the full text below.



From generation to generation, the ritual at night remains the same. On go the PJs, teeth are brushed, the lights are turned low. A story is told in a gentle way to slow the momentum and to put the day to rest. Sometimes another story is told and another. Just one more, daddy, please? Prayers are offered. If sleep is still elusive, sometimes a lullaby does the trick… Hush, little baby, don’t say a word…

And then comes the sweep… Sweep under the bed to make sure there are no monsters, close the closet door to contain the shadows, draw the drapes to keep the goblins at bay. And then the lamp is extinguished… And one last plea… Could you just leave the door open a sliver to let the hall light come in? And it is enough.

From generation to generation, the ritual at night has remained the same. It doesn’t take much for me to return to the age of 3 or 4 and to remember how dark our bedroom was. How the old floorboards used to creak in the night. How the windows rattled with the wind, and the steam pinged in the radiators. But for my active imagination the bumps in the night were scary beasts and spirits that were ready to pounce. And yet, the lingering story, the gentle voices of my parents down the hall mingled with the light coming from beneath the door, and it was enough.

From generation to generation, the ritual on this one night has remained the same. We gather in the darkness, to wait, longing to quiet the soul. The events of the week play over and over in our imaginations: bread broken, wine poured, betrayal, denial, crucifixion, breathless silence, and rumbling thunder…

A man, God’s own Son, lives his life journeying knowingly, willingly, towards a painful, shameful death. He walks the dusty roads of Galilee, teaching, preaching, healing, loving… and then lastly walks the cobbled streets of Jerusalem, aching, hurting, damaged, dying. We walk that journey with him this week.

On Friday, the demons, shadows and fears of our human frames are exposed. It is all too much. On Saturday, we are summoned into the darkness and made to wait for a sliver of light. The fire is set, a flame is pulled from the blaze. The Light of Christ is drawn inside. Slowly but surely, the glow is passed from taper to taper, each held by hands longing to grasp hope and promise again. And in the soft light we listen to a story and then another and another… the story

Of every living creature going two by two into the ark. Of rain falling for 40 days and 40 nights. And when the rain stopped, the raven was sent out but did not return. The dove was sent forth and returned with an olive branch. And it was enough.

Of a valley of dry bones being pulled together with sinew and muscle, ligament and tendon, rattling and pinging and given breath by God. And it was enough.

Of a people on the run for freedom with backs against the Red Sea and chariots bearing down on them. Moses raised the staff to part the waters for an escape to the promised land. And it was enough.

And with each telling of each story, we remember the promise of God’s redemptive love. Water is poured, prayers are offered, baptismal promises are renewed. And then comes the moment, before the dawn, when the old words would be spoken – no, proclaimed – Alleluia, Christ is Risen! Bells ring, trumpets sound, voices sing, lights blaze, marking the moment when the resurrection of Jesus sweeps away all that goes bump in the night and the grave is opened… in us. The resurrection of Jesus knits us back together into the image and likeness of God. Malice turns to good, hatred to love, hurt to joy. And like the disciples of long ago, we are summoned to meet this present moment, this time of waning pandemic, this time when wars wage, refugees flood over borders, the poor yearn for home, with the faith that is in us, the hope that flows through us, with the presence of Christ among us, for the Lord is Risen indeed. Alleluia!