Defiant power Easter

Guest article by Rita Famos in the "Kirchenbote interkantonal"

They wanted to kill him. Back then, in Jerusalem. "They" were the powers that be in religion and politics. The occupying power nailed him to the cross. Together with criminals. "He" was Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter's son. He had become too dangerous. Because people drew strength through him, were healed, were allowed to start anew, became self-confident and rebellious. The establishment became restless because he saw things anew, questioned the old and put it in a new light. Because people were moved by what he did and proclaimed and followed him in droves. He had become a political threat. They killed him, back then on a Friday, buried him on a Saturday - but on Sunday his grave was empty.

He was resurrected and lives on. In God, in our hearts, in our thoughts, in our deeds. We did not stop recognising God in him and meeting God through him, coming together, following him, taking his words to heart, starting anew.

That is why we have been travelling with this defiant power of Easter in our hearts for 2000 years. We write on our gravestones: "I live, even if I die". Wars, catastrophes and crises continue to ravage us. But we turn to the fields of rubble to rebuild houses and cities. We care for the grieving and work with them step by step to find their way back to life. We try to see the world through his eyes and continue to stand up to the establishment when necessary.

"We" are the Christian people around the world. The Protestant congregation in Aleppo, for example. It has rebuilt its church several times, because this is the place where people in fellowship with God and their brothers and sisters in faith are fuelling their Easter strength of defiance so as not to give up in the Syrian war zone. The Protestant churches in the Middle East continue to open a safe space for children every week under the most difficult of circumstances, regardless of their religious affiliation. In the midst of poverty, destruction and fear, they tell them stories of hope, sing with them, play with them and give them a warm meal. Thanks to the power of faith, Alex Navalny did not allow himself to be bent by Putin's henchmen and his friends remain steadfast even after his death.

Here in Switzerland, we are fortunately spared war and destruction. We support our sisters and brothers around the world in their efforts to realise the power of Easter: our aid organisation HEKS/EPER continues to work on behalf of the Church to provide humanitarian aid in the war zones of Ukraine and the Gaza Strip and in many other places of horror - because there is hope in us. Hope in the one they nailed to the cross but could not kill.

But there are also many places around us where our own Easter defiance is sorely needed. We must not stop telling ourselves and our children and grandchildren the story of the empty tomb every spring. In celebrating, singing, praying and being joyful, we must seek the encounter with the Risen One and allow ourselves to be infected by the defiant power of Easter, which never ceases to hope for the resurrection - even in our own days. In this way, we gather the strength that helps us in dark days. Because even in dark days, we hold on to the idea that the best is yet to come. That God will awaken something that we cannot imagine, something that surpasses all our expectations. One morning, as a voice that tells us: "Fear not!"

And says it in such a way that we know that a new era is dawning.

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Rita Famos

Rita Famos

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One Response

  1. Happy Easter dearest sister and thank you for the powerful and encouraging Easter message which we badly need! God bless you, your family and loved ones! Christ is Risen!

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