The Lord Is Risen!
The Lord Is Risen Indeed!
I greet you in the strong name of Jesus of Nazareth whose resurrection offers us new life and that abundantly. We need the power of Easter every day of our lives. In fact without it we don’t have much of a life or at least not the life God wants us to have. But these days when death, alienation, loss, grief, hatred and rage seem to have overwhelmed us our need of resurrection seems more poignant. Thanks be to God for the first Easter and all the Easters of our lives. It is true that because Jesus Christ lives we can face our todays and tomorrows.
I have been most pleased to see the care with which our nearly 1000 congregations have been broadening the opportunities for people to worship in person and online. What year ago seemed like a short turn around to “normalcy,” soon stretched into a long unknown that we are still navigating. Your steadiness, responsiveness and great wisdom have kept you, your church and community safer than they would have been without your presence and leadership. Thank you. Resurrection is all about life and starring death down. And that you have done. I have every confidence you will continue to be communities of resurrection.
For all that we have not been able to do, none of us can say we have had little or nothing to do. It feels on some days like its been more than we can say grace over. I now join you in turning my face and heart to the next great Christian feast – Pentecost and Annual Conference. Just as we need Easter we need the fire of the Holy Spirit. The power of resurrection is sustained on a daily basis by the continuous impulses of the Holy Spirit. To this end I invite you to pay attention to the readings in the Revised Common Lectionary from the Acts of the Apostles for each of the Sundays following Easter and of course on Pentecost. As you read and pray these texts pay attention to how the Spirit shapes the fledgling Jesus communities following his death, resurrection and ascension. For this week see Acts 4:32-35.
In the meantime remember that our assignment (mission) individually and collectively is to make known in word and deed the Good News that Jesus is alive, loose and rearranging the things that are to be the things that God intends.
Yours because Jesus rose from death,
+Bishop Gregory V. Palmer