Easter message from Bishop Wenner
It is a tremendous journey between Good Friday and Easter--from deep despair to new hope, from paralyzing mourning to overwhelming joy, from a crucial death to life in abundance. This journey does not happen in such a way that we switch joy on at midnight before Easter Sunday. Depending on your personal situation, it may be difficult on Good Friday to think of the dark of death or to just be full of happiness at Easter.
The Bible teaches us that in both our suffering and our joy, we are embraced by God. God is where we would never expect God to be. In the middle of the deepest suffering God stands in solidarity with humankind. I like the English word: "Good Friday". The day on which we remember the death of Jesus is a good day, indeed. God is with all those who have no reason at all to enjoy. This is good! And because God even dies in Jesus, death is no longer an end, but a doorway to life. This is the reason to sing: "In thee is gladness amid all sadness, Jesus, sunshine of my heart," which is the title of a famous German Christian hymn.
We confess with the disciples who left Jerusalem full of despair and then discovered at Emmaus that Jesus waswith them the entire journey. "Weren't our hearts on fire when he spoke to us along the road?" they asked. Even before the two recognized Jesus, the resurrected Christ, they began to experience that death is not the final word. However, we might feel that God will make it happen, that our heart is strangely warmed because God is to be recognized in new and unexpected ways. Therefore, our personal circumstances do not have to remain hopeless, nor do we need to give up the church or the world. Jesus is alive and we shall live with him. I wish you blessed holidays.
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner