My Easter 2012 message appears in Tasmania’s three major newspapers today:
Our hope, everywhere, always
One of the things that surprised me during our years living in Argentina was the hope that some slum dwellers had in Jesus Christ.
I was struck by the faith of the dispossessed and hungry.
So often they affirmed, “God is with us.” And in response to my query, “What do you mean?” The reply was, “God knows us. God knows insults, injustice, suffering at the hands of the powerful. Look at him on the cross!”
Early this year a dear friend, a university professor, died. We had been praying for him that in his dying he would experience Jesus’ promise, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). My friend, from his bed one evening, commented, “I am very thankful for the prayers. Jesus was truly with me last night. I knew the comfort of his presence in my pain.”
Jesus is with us in the pain, sorrow and suffering of life. In the deepest pit of despair, he is there. Wherever we are, whether in a slum or a death bed, Jesus is with us.
Our hope is in the God who cares for us, is with us, everywhere and always.
At Christmas we remember the promise of the angel, “Emmanuel, God with us” and at Easter we see that God is with us on the cross.
God is with us even in the pain, sorrow, suffering and deepest pits of despair.
Where is God? God is with us everywhere, in every condition and every time and always.
And, hope? Yes, hope is found not just in Jesus’ presence with us but in his resurrection and his rising from the grave. God defeated death for us. Do you accept this gift of life he offers?
This is our hope, our faith, our reason to be.
Anglican Bishop of Tasmania
NOTE: My Easter 2011 newspaper message: Of crackpots and Easter.