Easter 2022 Message

From the Presiding Bishop Rev N P Malinga

Dearest Sisters and Brothers,

Jesus is alive! The Peace of the Lord be with us all!

Warm and best wishes to all Methodist people for a blessed time of worship and fellowship over this Good Friday and Easter weekend.

In the past five weeks, we have journeyed through the Season of Lent and have now entered the most Holy Week in our Liturgical and Christian year. Following two years of Covid-19 restrictions on gathering to commemorate Good Friday and Easter, we are grateful to God that this year we are able to gather physically and celebrate the events of our salvation.

The events of pain, suffering and death of Jesus Christ, while they took place more than 2 000 years ago, can be related to our everyday lives.  We have and continue to experience much of the darkness of the world; various pandemics, the violent systems of the world, the greed and corruption of the wealthy, injustice against the poor, abuse and violence, conflicts, wars and rumours of war, displacement, suffering and death of the powerless etc.  These experiences tend to send humanity into the dark spaces of resentment, bitterness, revenge, retaliation and hopelessness.

In the events of Jesus’ suffering and death, we learn of a different way; Jesus’ way of responding in love and peace to the dark side of the world.  He was sold out and betrayed, lied about, mocked, lonely, beaten and crucified.  Through it all he loved and forgave. As we watch Jesus on the cross, we are reminded that it all happened because of the unconditional and sacrificial love of God for the fallen world, including me. Explaining this love of God, David Painting says;

“The omnipresent God allowed Himself to be constrained to a woman’s womb. 

The omniscient God chose to become an unknowing baby. The omnipotent God allowed Himself to be nailed on the cross “. (Fresh from the Word 2022, Page 107)

Whilst used by the enemy as a weapon of power and domination; the Cross of Christ became a symbol of God’s love and victory because on the third day Jesus rose again! God triumphed!

So, as we follow and ponder again, the events that are the foundation of our faith, we remember that we worship and serve a victorious Lord, who triumphed over sin and death. Our God, who loves, lives and reigns forever! This risen Lord is our living hope! Our worlds and material things may crumble, disasters and diseases may take away those things we hold dear and people we love and pin our hopes on, but as Christians we never lose hope, because it is the Risen Lord who is the hope we live by and live for.  At the end of all we are going through, God will triumph!

As we sing together again in the words of the Hymn Writer Hotatius Bonar:

“Rejoice and be glad! For the Lamb that was slain

O’er death is triumphant and liveth again

Sound his praises, tell the story of him who was slain

Sound his praises, tell with gladness he liveth again”.

Let us commit ourselves anew to tell the story of salvation by being agents, harbingers and sustainers of hope and healing wherever we are. In our families, with our neighbours and communities, work places and churches, wherever darkness, sin and pain prevails, let us proclaim and live out the salvation that Christ freely gave to the world through His death and resurrection. In the words of St Paul:

 “We were buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life”. (Romans 6:4)

 Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Rev Purity Malinga

Presiding Bishop

Easter 2022