Dear friends and neighbors,
“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” – – 2 Corinthians 5:17
We are all aware of the number of changes happening in our world. Some of them inspire excitement and joy and open us to coming possibility. Yet we’re also aware that change often includes saying goodbye, letting go and a sense of loss. As human beings, we’re not likely to embrace the more difficult side of change and sometimes it induces deep fear or terror.
For Christians, Holy Week and Easter put the process of change into perspective. Because of the resurrection, we look at the whole world from the perspective of a God who loves making all things new. In this holy season we hear God reminding us that we do not have to be afraid, an echo of the Word we heard at Christmas.
Easter, the Holy Day which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, reminds us that God’s power for life is greater than the forces of death. Hope can run rampant even in the face of despair. Healing and new life are possibilities even in times of turmoil and suffering. We believe that forgiveness, mercy and compassion trump violence every time and we are so excited by the new life God calls forth in us that we cannot help but share this good news with others.
This world is not always fair or just and change is never easy. But the cross of Jesus Christ invites us to look at our lives and the world and our neighbors with new eyes. We hope that in this holy season you will hear God’s invitation to new life and new love in Christ’s name.
Grace and peace,
Bishop Marie Jerge,
Upstate New York Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Bishop Robert Cunningham
Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse
Bishop Marcus Matthews
Bishop Gladstone Adams
Episcopal Diocese of Central New York