Dear friends in Christ,
The second verse of that well-beloved Easter hymn Christ the Lord is Risen Today, penned by Charles Wesley (1707-1788), proclaims the bringing to completion of God’s work in Christ for the sake of all humanity. It is done! We have nothing to fear! The bonds of sin are broken, the chains of death are shattered, and we have been saved. In this troubled world can we believe this is true? And will we dare to live faithfully into this reality? We may still make awful mistakes and terrible choices in our lives, and to be sure, death still comes to these mortal bodies, but the great proclamation of Easter is that neither sin nor death have any true or lasting hold over us. We belong to the risen Christ who has ransomed us for our sin and freed us from eternal death. Alleluia! And so we can proclaim with St. Paul that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Where, O death is your victory? Where O, death is your sting? As Christian people, we are not defeated by sin or destroyed by death. Why? Because love’s redeeming work is indeed done. It has been accomplished once and for all. Christ being raised from the dead will never die again! So let us likewise reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
As this season of Lent draws to a close, as we participate in the drama of Holy Week, and come once again to the glory of Easter, may we live unto God, holding firmly to our belief that Christ has died and rose again, that death has been defeated, that we have been released from Adam’s guilt, and that indeed our Lord and Saviour has opened paradise for us and for all.
Fought the fight the battle won, Alleliua!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
A blessed Eastertide to one and all.
Your friend and priest,