The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham has issued a video message for Easter along with a his thoughts for Easter Day. In his video message, Bishop Paul says: “I’m really excited about my first Easter in Durham, it’s going to be terrific celebrating Easter in the Cathedral as we proclaim again ‘Christ is Risen’ – this is the heart of our faith.” He goes on to explain the relevance of this two thousand year old story to today saying: “Jesus rose from the dead, and it transforms how we view life and how we view death, and he is alive now and we can know him as our friend. Even if you don’t take that as truth, this man Jesus and his teaching have impacted Human societies and cultures for all of those years and still do – those teaching still make sense today, its worth taking seriously – actually its worth celebrating.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfcfLQkhobY&width=600 Bishop Paul has also released his thoughts for Easter Sunday, in which he describes Easter as a season of delight. The Easter thoughts are repeated in full below:
Easter is so often filled with fun. The days are longer; spring flowers abound; the weather is warming (usually) and come Easter Day there tends to be lots of chocolate around, along with families getting together and celebratory meals. It is a season of delight.
I love family get togethers. Being part of a family is meant to be good for us all. It should bring us love, friendship, support, laughter and care. So I am glad that Easter is a time when family is seen as important.
For Mary and her family Friday had been a bleak, sad day. Her eldest son, their eldest brother, had been brutally and unjustly killed by the authorities. They had nailed him to a wooden cross and left him hanging to die. Yet we have come to call this Good Friday; originally probably God’s Friday. God’s because God was there, involved. This was God dealing with all our wrong and putting it right. So Good because Jesus’ death offers us hope of forgiveness. The Sunday became a joyous day for Mary because against all hope and sense Jesus tomb was empty, the body gone and in various ways to different people, including Mary, Jesus showed himself to be alive, risen from the dead.
This is why Easter really is a time to celebrate. Jesus is alive. One effect was to put the family back together; Jesus’ own family found new hope and love that first Easter Day.
May our families find fresh hope and love this Easter. At the heart of this hope is Jesus still alive and active today.
I wish you a very happy Easter.