Religion

Anglican bishop: Faith without works is useless

During the holiest week on the church’s calendar, when the story of the resurrection is never more prominent, people of faith were reminded that they cannot sit idly by and wait for a resurrection miracle to happen in their lives.

Reverend Laish Boyd, bishop of the diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, in his Easter message says everyone must do their part by living and doing good, facing their challenges and working toward a better day — because faith without works is useless.

“Be educated on the issues, up to date with the latest news developments, complying with best advice and national protocols, and then allowing God to work his miracle on that platform,” said Boyd. “All of this is the hope and victory of the resurrection put into action.

The Anglican bishop in his Easter message asked people to think about the greatest change they could imagine and asked whether it was peas and rice turning into white rice or mashed potatoes turning into ice cream. He said normally, changes like that do not happen in “real life” – only in fairytales.

“However, God made such a miraculous change on the first Easter Day – God changed death into life by raising his son, Jesus, from the dead.”

In the resurrection story, Jesus’ body was placed in a tomb on Friday afternoon (Good Friday); early Sunday (Easter Sunday) morning Mary Magdalene and several other women went to the tomb and found it opened. When they went in, they did not find Jesus’ body.

“Many people found this hard to believe,” Boyd said.

“Some perplexed disciples rushed to check the tomb when reports reached them that Jesus’ body was not there. Thomas, even after several reports, said that he would not believe unless he could touch the risen Lord himself. We understand their doubts because we all have experienced doubt in our lives, but we believe that our all-powerful God did do it to show his love for us.”

He said Jesus rose from the dead to conquer sin and death for mankind and also to bring mankind into a closer relationship with God than human beings had ever had before.

“The Resurrection Story is the cornerstone of our Christian faith. Although many have struggled and do struggle with it, many believe it, hold fast to it and find comfort in it.”

Boyd said the Resurrection Story is also a parable about what God has done throughout history – overcome great odds, bring his children through amazing ordeals, and change the impossible into what is actually possible. And that it has been proven in human experience over and over again.

“God desires to prove it in our lives today,” he said.

After catastrophic damage and disruption by Hurricane Dorian, he said people are positive and rebuilding their lives to the best of their ability. He said things could have been so much worse. And even though things are not as rebuilt as people would want them to be, he said people press and will overcome.

The Anglican bishop said people have to admit that a lot has been accomplished. And that the people who went through the catastrophic storm would say that it could only have been God’s doing that kept them through such a hurricane — and that brought them this far after it.

“More current is the COVID-19 crisis which is now a global pandemic. It has changed the world and changed our lives in a matter of weeks. We now live with the constant washing of hands, social distancing, face masks and staying at home, not to mention the fear about our safety and the uncertainty about how the virus spreads,” Boyd said.

“More than 1.4 million persons have been infected. More than 91,000 persons have died – but more than 300,000 have recovered. What a praise report! It is the direct hand of God working through medical science.”

Boyd urged people to be encouraged that the coronavirus could be beaten. He reminded them that worldwide measures put in place are slowly proving effective.

“God is a miracle worker. We have to keep on and be persistent and consistent to see the best results,” he said.

He said The Bahamas is not “out of the woods” with respect to Hurricane Dorian and certainly not coronavirus, but the country has the track record and the promise of a conquering savior who encourages people throughout the scriptures and in everyday life experiences.

“He works miracles and he has done and will continue to do marvelous things,” Boyd said. “He gives us knowledge and wisdom for us to make good decisions and to be good stewards. He is a constant overcomer – and so are we.”

The Anglican bishop said the Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19 experiences should remind people that they have to try not to complain so much.

“Many things may be amiss, but there are so many things that we can give thanks for. Look on the resurrection side of the garden, not on the crucifixion side. Remember that your worst day is someone’s best day.

“May Jesus’ message fill your heart and cause you to share him with others, telling the story that he is arisen. He will help us to overcome mountains in our ordinary lives,” Boyd said.

 

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