Council of Bishop 2015 Easter Message
A Resurrection Greeting from the Council of Bishops
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
Do you believe? This is the overarching question of the resurrection. Faith is more important than understanding details or even recognizing the resurrected corpus of Jesus. Do you believe?
The query is full of implications. Believing entails a different perspective on life, death and sin. It calls for a new focus and energy with regard to behavior. It is announced with the boldness of a trumpet and has comforting expectation called hope. Do you believe?
The Council of Bishops prays that each of you will be fortified with faith that conquers death and defies the power of the grave. May you confront the challenges of daily existence with the hope which springs from faith in the living Lord! Let us renew our commitment to earthly justice and compassionate service as we set our faces toward eternity.
We thank God for the election of one of our daughters, the Reverend Ella Jones, to a seat on the Ferguson, Missouri City Council. We pray for the comfort of those in various places around the world who have lost loved ones as they confessed the risen Christ as Lord. We also pray for the family of Walter Scott, whose life was taken by a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina. In spite of attacks on believers and unjust killing, we still maintain faith in the protection and justice of the One who raised Jesus from the dead.
Rising from the ashes of Lent, let us embrace the flames of service which are fanned on Pentecost. This is not a season to be discouraged or afraid. It is a period for boldness through faith, because He lives. We pray blessings for each of you during this Easter season. Please remember 13 April as our Connectional Day of Prayer.
Let us pray:
Almighty Creator, we praise You for faithfulness in raising Jesus from the dead. We glorify Your name for love which saves and sustains Your people. We thank You for progress in the struggle for justice as we pledge to continue the battle. Bless those who mourn because of the move of nature and the ravages of violence. Give wisdom to those who illuminate the path which leads to the Resurrected Lamb. Strengthen those who protect our freedoms and those who keep peace through justice. Heal our brokenness, and give hope to our lives. Increase our faith. Receive the praise of Your people who gather under the banner of African Methodism. Let our joy be full as we witness to the power of the risen Jesus, who is our Lord. In His precious name we pray, Amen!