This is Resurrection
To be an Easter people is to be those who embody that fierce, unrelenting love that says to the forces of death and hate that continue to operate today: “God is a God of love and of life, and we will be a people of love and of life.” May it be so for us this Easter. May we be a resurrection people.
~ published April 11, 2017 on the United Church of Canada’s Website
To view the Moderator Jordan Cantwell’s Easter message go here.
This is the transcript of the video message:
Friends, two-and-a-half months ago, a gunman walked into a mosque in Quebec City and killed six people, wounding 19 others. Something in all of us died that day.
But friends, that is not where that story ends because in the days and weeks following that tragedy, people across this country and around the world came together and formed communities of love and solidarity and resistance.
I was at home in Saskatoon visiting my family when this happened, and one of the local mosques invited the community to evening prayers. And people showed up in such numbers, it was standing room only. There were people of all faiths and no faith, of all different ethnicities and language groups, all coming together to offer words of encouragement, of hope, of support, and of resistance.
And something changed for us because more of these kinds of events have been happening ever since: a prayer vigil, an interfaith gathering for prayers and peace in the public square in front of city hall—a first for Saskatoon, as far as I know. And this is just one of many stories like this that are unfolding across this country.
Friends, this is resurrection. Resurrection is the power of love that confronts the forces that deal in death and hatred and says “You will not have the final word.”
Easter is the time in our church season when we celebrate that resurrection, and we often do it with much joyfulness and a lightness of spirit. But I am reminded that the gospel texts, when they tell the story of those who encountered the empty tomb and the risen Christ, their response in the moment was to be astounded, to be confounded—fearful even—and yet there was a spark of hope that was lit.
And from that spark they ran and told others. And from that, communities of life and love emerged. That is what it means for us to be an Easter people—to be those who embody that fierce, unrelenting love that says to the forces of death and hate that continue to operate today: “You do not get the last word. We say no. We resist. Because God is a God of love and of life, and we will be a people of love and of life.”
Friends, may it be so for us this Easter. May we be a resurrection people.