Pastoral Letter from Father Gideon Uzomechina – Easter 2016

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? . . . “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus said to her, “Mary!”  John 20:15-16

Dear Friends,

Alleluia! Christ Is Risen! The Lord Is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

One of the joyful messages of Easter is that God was willing to pay a huge price to negate our sin, selfishness and greed. Before and after His resurrection, Jesus invited people to follow Him as he gave glimpses into what life with God actually looks like. His life showed selflessness versus selfishness, servanthood versus prestige, and sacrifice versus self-protection. And through simple things like this, he painted a picture that everyone finds noble. The resurrection is not just a nice story – it is a fact of history! Easter is not just a day—it’s a season!  And we’ll be celebrating this season from now until Pentecost.

After the resurrection, the apostles were willing to go all over the world telling everyone that Jesus, God in humanity, died for their sins and rose from the dead. They never became rich or had lives of luxury.  Instead they were persecuted because of their message. They signed their testimony with their own blood, as all the apostles, except for John, were put to death because of their testimony. There is no other explanation for the apostles’ lives and testimony, except that they saw the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

In this Easter and during the subsequent days, weeks and months ahead, we are all called to take our place with Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome and Joanna at the empty tomb. Because of the empty tomb, we can know for sure that our sins are forgiven and we have eternal life. Because of the empty tomb, we can have joy even in the face of death because we have a Savior who tasted death for us and who gives eternal life freely to all who come to Him. Because of the empty tomb, may we hear our names called out by the Lord Jesus Christ as He did to Mary.  And may our troubles and sorrows be erased by the powerful force of His resurrection. Throughout this Easter season, let us be encouraged that whatever forms the manifestations of sin, selfishness and greed may take, God through Jesus Christ has counteracted and made null and void the worst of them.

Whether you are near or far, may this message find you well and able to find joy in the knowledge and love of God throughout this season and beyond!

Alleluia! Christ Is Risen! The Lord Is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Right Onward!

Your Priest and Friend,

The Venerable Dr. Gideon A. Uzomechina

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