Easter Message from the Bishop of Stepney, 2013
PUBLISHED: 00:01 31 March 2013
Although he's now nearly 13, greying and grizzled, I remember well when we first got Jasper our black Labrador as a puppy with an appealing face and teeth like razors.
Every time I went out with Jasper as an adorable little puppy, someone stopped to talk to me, strangers I’d never met began chatting away like old friends.
It reminded me of when our children were babies, pushing them out in the pram. Suddenly passers-by would stop, lean over, smile, and within seconds you would be exchanging life stories.
What is it about puppies and babies that cause cracks to appear in the ‘Great British reserve’ about talking to strangers?
I think it’s to do with purity and innocence. New lives, canine or human, are an open book, an unwritten story. In a tired and cynical world, there’s something very appealing about every new beginning.
On Easter Sunday, many Christians get up early and gather together before the break of dawn around a fire outside their church. They will light candles and process inside for a dawn vigil where some people will affirm their Christian faith for the first time. Slowly they will watch the sun come up and shed its light, and the gathering rays from the sun herald the dawn and new beginning of Easter.
If there is one day in the year that speaks of a new beginning and a fresh start, this is it, Easter Sunday.
The world is too full of Good Fridays, global suffering and personal tragedy. Bad news isn’t hard to find—it’s easy to grow tired and cynical that nothing will ever change.
But the resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate new beginning.
All of us long for a better story to be written, a better song to be sung. We don’t want to give in to the predictable patterns of pessimism that grip our world.
As a Christian whose life has been shaped and changed by the discovery that Jesus, far from being a dead historical figure, is alive and kicking 20 centuries on, my Easter message is simple—don’t give up hope that things can change for the better.
The risen life of Christ affects everything, from the biggest challenge facing our global village to the tiniest detail of your personal life.
Every puppy you see on your way today, every baby out in a pushchair, every glint of sun falling across the London skyline—stop and remember. Easter Day makes all things new.
The Rt Rev Adrian Newman
Bishop of Stepney