The enormity of the miracle that is resurrection is one that takes time for us to celebrate. It's also one that takes time for us to reflect on, to learn, about to think about, to explore, in order for us to live fully as resurrected people. To live as people who claim the resurrection, and claim the special relationship it gives us with God through Jesus Christ. (Time: 3:59.)
This is Bishop Hughes in the Diocese of Newark, and it is the second week of Easter. We have several weeks of Easter because we celebrate it for 50 days. The enormity of the miracle that is resurrection is one that takes time for us to celebrate. It's also one that takes time for us to reflect on, to learn, about to think about, to explore, in order for us to live fully as resurrected people. To live as people who claim the resurrection, and claim the special relationship it gives us with God through Jesus Christ.
So in these 50 days, if there's one thing that I am hoping every single person in this diocese would grab a hold of, is a phrase that happens in the Collect for the second Sunday of Easter. You can find it on page 224 in the Book of Common Prayer. I won't read the whole Collect, but the phrase in particular that I'm talking about says:
“Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's body, may show forth in their lives, what they profess by faith.”
That is that all of us who believe in Christ, all of us who've been baptized and confirmed in Christ, all of us who follow Jesus, all of us who spend time reading scripture, going to church, receiving Communion, saying prayers, receiving prayers, singing hymns and songs, those of us who live in that beautiful community that is Jesus Christ, that all of us would live our lives in such a way that it professes our faith that you can see in our lives, the things that we say that we believe.
Imagine the powerful witness that would be all throughout these 50 days of Easter, if every Episcopalian took some part of these 50 days, to let people know that they are loved by God. Imagine if we spoke the words of love. Imagine if we spoke the words of healing. Imagine if we spoke the name of Jesus Christ, if we could say it with love, and generosity and care and gentleness: “I know that Jesus loves you. And I know that Jesus wants good in your life.”
That when we can bring that freedom of being able to say something to someone about the places where they're in pain, or where they hurt, or where they are lonely, and they need to know that someone else cares. When we can bring in our actions and in our words, the things that we profess to believe. We have the ability to show resurrection to the world.
It's important right now. Now is the time for serious Christians in this world. We're at a time where it seems that nothing is more important than being right, being in control, winning at all cost, and being an individual – having things exactly our own kind of way. And it is God's love for us and our love for God's people that shows us and shows the world something completely different.
We are not alone. We are connected to each other. We're always connected to God. And that is something to celebrate every single one of these 50 days of Easter.