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Easter Message by the Bishop of Lincoln

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

An Easter message for 2024 by the Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Rev’d Stephen Conway:

The message in full:

I know this is supposed to be an Easter Message, but I wonder if I can get away with talking about Christmas for a moment?

Christmas seems to pass by more quickly over the years, but I’ve noticed that for many people, even that isn’t quick enough! There can be a real rush to get the decorations down, finish off the Christmas treats, and get ready for the new year as soon as possible.

Life does move quickly in this day and age – Christmas being a good example. But I wonder if Eastertide – our celebration of the Resurrection – might call us to reflect a bit on what we’re moving on towards. 

Easter is full of movement:

  • Good Friday to Easter Day 
  • Jesus’ death on the cross to his rising from the tomb 
  • Darkness giving way to the light 
  • Death conquered by new life

We encounter this sense of change and movement in some of the traditional Easter readings from the Bible. In addition to the Easter gospels, we might hear the story from Exodus of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt. They are escaping from slavery to freedom, travelling through the waters of the Red Sea to dry land.

In Romans, St Paul talks about a similar Easter journey from slavery to freedom, from sin to grace, from death to resurrection.

He describes it as “walking in newness of life.”

God calls us to walk in newness of life. To me, this is about moving forwards – there is both a journey and a destination.

We don’t keep doing the same things we always have been, and we don’t keep looking backwards, over our shoulder, dwelling on the past, dwelling on who we were. 

Instead, Easter invites us to move forward with hope to who we might be, if we choose to live in the light of Easter Day, and the promise of new life that Jesus’ resurrection brings.

What might this mean for the Church?

St Paul says that just as “Christ was raised from the dead… so we too might walk in newness of life.” 

We are a people on a journey and a church with a gospel to proclaim.

How then are we, in our churches and communities across Greater Lincolnshire, going to walk in newness of life?

What are the things that we keep looking back to, over our shoulder, that weigh us down and stop us from responding to God’s call?

Where are the signs of hope and new life in our own lives, in our community, and indeed in the world, that we can share with others? 

There are at least Twelve Days of Christmas. But there are Fifty Days of Easter.

Just as at Christmas we might rush to get the decorations down, we might also be tempted to think of Easter as a single day.

But Easter is an onward journey. God calls us to walk in this newness of life, and he sends us on our way with a gospel to proclaim.  

As individuals, as churches, as the people of God, let us now move forward with hope in our hearts, and a longing to see lives transformed by the love of Christ.

This Eastertide, may God bless you all and strengthen you through the power of the Spirit, to walk with Christ in his risen life.

The Bishop of Lincoln’s Easter Sermon

On Easter Day, the Bishop of Lincoln gave his Easter Sermnon at Lincoln Cathedral. You can read his sermon by clicking or tapping the link below.

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