An Easter Message from the Rector
Resurrection – Restoration of Hope
Dear brothers and sisters,
Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed. Alleluia! Today is Easter Day, which is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. It is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This is also the season when we hear the friendly words “Happy Easter” spoken. It is a very gracious greeting. Yet, the truth is that we must be very careful when we say ‘Happy Easter” in this difficult time for fear of passing on COVID-19.
On April 7th Prime Minister Abe Shinzo declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak in Japan, covering Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures. Following the declaration, governors in the designated areas are authorized to request residents to “stay at home” except for essential activities, such as grocery shopping. The US, Europe and the rest of the world are still battling a surging outbreak. As a result, the world is currently facing its deepest economic crisis since World War II. Furthermore, scientists across the world warn that life may never get back to normal until we have a safe and effective vaccine. It is in fact very difficult to predict how our lives will change. Indeed, we are facing times of despair, loneliness, uncertainty and yes a loss of hope. In these days of uncertainty and hopelessness, what does the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ mean to us?
The resurrection is an important part of our Christian faith. Jesus came to this world bringing love, consolation, strength and courage to us all, to live a joyful life. He suffered for us because He loves us so much, despite our sometimes misgivings and sinfulness. Jesus rose up again to give us hope of renewal – a new life of hope, faith and love. As Peter said in the Acts of the Apostles, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him… They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear… All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:38-43).
In turn, as faithful Christians, we should rise up for Jesus Christ and let Him love us – a love He so much wants to share. When we let that happen, it will make our lives tremendously different. With such a reflection on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are encouraged to believe in hope, for He does love us and He is with us. To rise up for Jesus Christ and thus let Him love us is a way of the restoration of hope in these days of uncertainty and hopelessness. He is in fact waiting for us.
Happy Easter to you all!
Simon, Rector of Yokohama Christ Church