As followers of the resurrected Christ, Bishop Ward calls us to rise up to the challenges of devastation, heartache, and trouble in our world.
The Lord is risen indeed.
The Greek word for resurrection is anástasi and it means “to rise up.” God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and Jesus breathed upon his followers, filling them with the Holy Spirit. As a result, they also rose up.
They began to preach boldly. They were courageous when imprisoned. They healed the sick and they gathered people who wanted to know more about this risen Lord into churches. These first followers, filled with the Spirit, went out into all the world – Bartholemew to Armenia; Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Ephesus and Turkey; Mary Magdalene to France. Wherever they went, through word and witness, they shared life of Christ.
We find in our own world that where there is devastation and heartache and trouble, God’s people rise up. Whether it is in Parkland, Florida or Charlottesville, Virginia, or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or Sri Lanka, God’s people rise up. In the wake of devastating hurricanes in Mozambique, God’s people are rising up.
We soon will gather at Annual Conference and Annual Conference will be a time for us to rise up again as a connected people, to be inspired through teaching and preaching and worship, to be surprised by reports and by generosity, to be sent forth to engage in ministry hand-in-hand, united in heart. Indeed God’s people are resurrection people.
Thank you for your partnership in the life of resurrection. Together, let us rise up to the challenges of our time. Let us rise up with Christ. Let us rise up with all those Jesus breathes upon. Receive the Holy Spirit and rise up toward God.