For another year, Christians globally are commemorating the greatest sacrifice ever made. We are the recipients of an incredibly generous gift of love and should be eternally grateful that God gave his only begotten son to die for us all.
The Easter season is one filled with both sadness and hope. Sadness is evoked as we recall how our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was treated on his way to a painful death on the cross, and how upon his death he was laid in a borrowed tomb. Hope comes from the fact that though he endured horrific trials for our sins, three days later, he arose from the grave. This can be our story as well. We have all been facing challenges in recent times and many of us may have lost hope. But as Christians, it is our faith in a God that holds the future that should provoke our praise through good times and bad.
We know of all the examples of God’s miraculous power to turn what seems impossible into possible. We know well through his word, that God uses the occurrences in our lives to prepare us for what is to come. We know that God is always in control. Knowing this, we should never lose hope for a brighter future but get ready for it.
Many people who were here last Easter are no longer with us; some in my own family. The privilege of waking up to another day signifies that our work here on earth is not done. This is another reason to give God praise. I understand full well that many of us have experienced great loss of levels of comfort provided by financial stability and possessions. But think about it, if God did it for you before, he is well able to do it again. Yet more reason to praise our God.
I encourage you to look toward the resurrection in your own life. While we may be more available than we were before the pandemic, we should devote more of it to God’s word, to nurturing our relationships with family and friends, to bettering ourselves, our country, and to spreading the gospel throughout the world. There is much work to do as our country looks toward the end of this time of slow down and stagnation.
As Christians, we must set the pace. We must live our lives in a manner that respects the sacrifice that Christ made at Calvary. Just as was done in those times, it is time to roll the stone away in our own lives. It is time to rejoice in a God who is trustworthy with our cares and knew the plan for our lives before we were in our mother’s womb. It is time to dream again, to plan again, to try again, and to live again. We fail God if we never use our gifts for his glory. We fail as people of faith if we let the trials of life dictate our joy. Our faith is what makes us different. Our enduring hopefulness in times of despair is what makes us special. Our love for even those who may not display love toward us is our trademark.
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and that God knows exactly what he is doing. I hope that this Easter season is a turning point in your life. As we recall Christ’s example of love and duty, we endeavor to embody those characteristics to make our own lives better, to be a light in the world.
On behalf of the Bahamas Christian Council and the wider Christian community, I wish every Bahamian a Happy Easter. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday and I encourage you to attend the church of your choice.
Apostle Delton Fernander, Bahamas Christian Council president
New life, hope and new beginnings
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17)
We thank God for bringing us to a place where we have never been before in our whole lives: to today, to this week, to this month, to Easter 2021. What a milestone!
At Easter, we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. It is a season which signifies not only resurrection, but new life, hope, and new beginnings.
Things are different now than they were last Easter:
Last year this time, we were in the midst of the first, big COVID-19 lockdown. This year, we are not in lockdown.
Last year, COVID-19 was a relatively new phenomenon and there was great fear and uncertainty about that unknown. This year, we are in a more comfortable space where we know a lot more about the virus, and we have protocols and procedures in place to manage it safely.
Last year, we had no vaccine available. This year, we have the new hope of several available vaccines. Millions of persons have been vaccinated already.
I am sure that you can think of ways that your life is better or renewed since last Easter, and ways in which you have new hope. I am also certain that you can think of ways in which you are less fortunate or worse off than you were last year. But, the thing is that we must all try to press on, whatever our circumstances. Easter is about new life and new energy, so let’s try to find that in each new day. Also, let us seek to give encouragement and hope to others in the pain and despair of their lives.
This is the real meaning of Easter: not just being renewed or resurrected ourselves, but sharing that and making it possible for others – in whatever small way that we can. It is so easy to see, to feel, and to point out the negatives, but if we could only see more positives (find the silver lining in the dark cloud), we could actually shape our world and our lives for the better. Remember that our attitude determines our altitude.
Every Easter, we are reminded about what God did for us: “God so loved the world that he gave his only son.” (John 3:16). This Easter, let us seek to do something for someone else, to brighten their day, to ease their burden, to make them smile, to encourage, to give hope – especially in these COVID-19 times.
Let us serve the risen savior who is in the world today. Opportunities for service are right nearby within arm’s length of each of us.
The Anglican Diocese joins me in wishing you a Happy Easter!
– Right Reverend Laish Boyd,
Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands