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Alleluia, Christ has risen. The Lord has risen indeed, alleluia.

Happy Easter to each and every one of you. Perhaps the highest feast of the Christian life has arrived, Easter, resurrection, new life born out of the old. That’s the hope of Easter, the yearning of Easter, even if, and I would say most especially if, the world itself doesn’t seem to portray it, does not seem to go along, as it were.

This is the point really, even out of the rubble and the ruin of life. And as one of my favorite prayers says, even out of the wrath of our waste and sorrows, hope remains. Easter arrives, it cannot be stopped. And most especially God is present, always, in the pain, in the rubble, as well as in the newfound joy. That’s Easter.

I have to say it is this hope that had so much to do with me making it through these past two weird unbalanced years. It was hard, for many, it’s still hard and will be for some time. While it came with losses for many of us, for some of the ultimate loss, for many of us, losses of things we did not ever expect we might lose. And yet with all of that, blessings abound, too.

We found out the good in ourselves and others. We found out a lot about ourselves, things too easy to ignore or not give attention to in the mad world of before. That is the brilliance I believe of our annual walk with and beside Jesus’s life and journey because it makes him so very human and us that much closer to his life because we live it too. It is right to revisit this every year, so that we’re reminded that even in our own trials God never leaves our side, never abandons us, walks with us until we find Easter. Either here in the midst of this human world or ultimately one day in the paradise of God. Either way, once washed in the waters of baptism, that is our destiny and our yearly reminder of that great gift is here today and in the days to come.

I hope you can relish its arrival, the gift that it is, and I pray that it will change your life. So you might share that gift with others, the ultimate reason it’s given in the first place.

My beloved, happy Easter, and blessings to each and every one of you.

Easter 2022: A Message from Bishop Rickel

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