Bishop’s Message: Easter 2015

Luke 24:11: “But these words seemed to them an idle tale.”

The resurrection of Jesus was greeted with doubt rather than belief. The disciples did not believe the women who came away from the tomb. They did not trust their account.

Trust is the bedrock of our dealings with others and applies both personally and corporately. This year, Easter comes in the midst of the general election campaign where many politicians, old and new, are encouraging us to trust them. A Mori poll suggests that only one in ten people actually trust politicians. This is not a good record. Clergy and policeman score somewhat higher – around two thirds of the public trust them. The professions who score the highest are doctors and judges. We can speculate on the statistics but it is clear that politicians have a long way to go to win the trust of the Electorate and there is a worrying trend that young people, who are often aspirational in outlook, are disenchanted with politics. They do not trust the account given, the message conveyed.

Easter, politics, trust – do they go together? Yes! Because the resurrection of Jesus, amazing as it seems to be, is about human transformation in the life of God. It’s about healing that which is wounded, it’s about forgiving that which is wrong and above all trusting that there is a better way for us to live together and to flourish. The risen Christ demonstrates God’s trust in us to become better human beings. And that pathway of change includes issues about justice, economics, well-being and education. Christ’s resurrection is about us on the ground as well as in heaven!

What happended to the disciples who doubted? They went to see for themselves. They engaged with the message and then came to understand the momentous event. From their belief, their trust, they proclaimed a joyful witness for forgiveness and change that moved the whole world and established many of the values that we hold dear in our society.

As the Easter people of today, let us also continue to trust in the message that changes lives. Let us remember our duty to pray for our nation and for our politicians that they would be guided to work for a society that celebrates the common good and builds up trust amongst us. For it was not an idle tale we heard but words of truth which challenges us to live well.

May the God of hope bless us this Easter.

+Richard