Jesus is alive changes everything

Published 20 April 2014
AP
Cross

Faith in the resurrection makes all the difference to situations of immense hardship and difficulty, the Archbishop of Canterbury has remind the faithful in his Easter sermon. 

Archbishop Justin Welby shared about a meeting with a bishop who was visiting from Pakistan soon after the suicide bombing on a church in Peshawar that killed dozens.

After asking the bishop whether anyone had been in church the week after the attack, he replied: "Oh yes, there were three times as many people the next week."

Archbishop Welby reflected: "Such action is made possible only be the resurrection.  The persecuted church flourishes because of the resurrection."

He went on to speak about the hardships being faced by Christians in places afflicted by war and bloodshed.

"In Syria mothers cry for their children and husbands. In the Ukraine neighbours cry because the future is precarious and dangerous," he will say.

"In Rwanda tears are still shed each day as the horror of genocide is remembered."

He also spared a thought for people enduring other kinds of hardship. 

"In this country, even as the economy improves there is weeping in broken families, in people ashamed to seek help from food banks, or frightened by debt. Asylum seekers weep with loneliness and missing far away families. Mary continues to weep across the world."

However, he concluded with a reminder that faith in Jesus and his resurrection has the power to lift people in their circumstances.

"The announcement that Jesus is alive changes everything; not simplistically or even instantly do circumstances and situations change. But it changes us," he said.

"It gives us hope where we were in despair, faith where we were lost, light where we were in darkness, joy where we were entirely in sorrow.

"That joy in the huge life of Jesus is present in the food banks, the credit unions, the practical down to earth living that the churches are demonstrating across this country."

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