2023 Easter Message | Signs of New Life
Happy Easter! Welcome to the Resurrection!
As we come to gather at the empty tomb again, to stare and wonder at what God is doing, I just wanted to call you into a season of discipline. I know, discipline in Easter. We're all in on discipline of Lent—fasting, suffering—we love that stuff! But I'm calling you into a discipline of celebration, of joy, of wonder. Celebration because God is doing a new thing in our midst.
As I've traveled around the diocese this year, one of the things that's really struck me is how the new life is springing up in churches all over the state, new things are being done in our midst. Sometimes old things are being revived, and sometimes just whole new sprouts and plants in the garden of this diocese!
As we've traveled around the world, I've gotten to see the work that we've done over decades in Ecuador, in Haiti, and our relationships around the world with the Lambeth Conference and General Convention. It's been a busy year, but in all of that, it becomes really clear that God is doing something new.
The Church is returning to a deeper sense of faith in Christ. A new day of revival is in our midst. And so, in a season where we can see new life, it becomes important to be disciplined in celebration. It's easy to be disciplined when we're fearful or disciplined when we feel guilt. But I'm asking for a time of discipline to celebrate. Whether it's a family gathered at the table—Mom and Dad and 2.3 kids, or whether it's folks gathered from a whole community calling for new life, in justice and peace in their neighborhood.
As we gather together and are brought alive in Christ to be disciplined in celebration, in lifting up that which is good. And in joy because Christ is doing new things in our midst, we can interpret the world around us through the new work of God and not through the old language of death.
We can begin to see and to think, to hear and to ponder with joy rather than with the disciplines of death and struggle. What if you could look into the world and lift up that good news? Lift up those moments of new life, bring those to the fore, and discipline yourself to think on the good, the pure, and the noble, as Christ calls us to and Saint Paul calls us to so clearly in Colossians.
Finally, I would ask you to think about what a discipline of wonder would look like. To take time in your life to find things that lift you up and that remind you that God is doing new work in our midst. Whether it's family at the table, works of art, beautiful music, whether it's a
community finding new ways of being together. As I've gone around and seen what God is
doing in our midst, I've seen people gathered from different backgrounds, from different parishes, but also from different places around the world finding new ways to interact.
Because in Christ, we are one body, one family. We have a new identity in Christ.
The old is put away and we can join with the scriptures that say, "Behold! God
is doing a new thing in our midst!"
So, in this season of celebration, in this season of joy and wonder, I want to
call you to the fullness of Easter.
From now until Pentecost—rejoice! Fill your life now with good things.
Don't put away the chocolate and don't put away the coffee but enjoy and dig deep into joy.
Fill your life with that which reminds you that Christ has come, a new world is being born and that we are running to meet him.
In acts of charity and love, in music and hymns of praise, in worship, and in service to each other. We show the deep faith that we have that God is doing a new thing and that one day the world would join, and the resurrection begun here at the empty tomb.
Let us begin!
Let us be faithful!
And let us see it through to the end with the discipline of joy, of wonder. and celebration.