Bishop of Newcastle's Easter message

I didn’t grow up in a church family. And that means that as a child I never really got the point of Easter . Yes, we got a holiday from school, but the weather was usually awful and it often seemed a rather boring and dreary time.

After the birth of our second child I started to think about the big questions in life, and on one August Sunday in 1978 I grabbed the hand of our four year old daughter and found the courage to go through the doors of our little local church; I will never forget the incredible experience of my first Easter just eight months later. For the first time I made the spiritual journey through Holy Week, and I experienced the full range of emotion – from the depths of sadness on Good Friday to the most extraordinary joy of Easter Day.

The message of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus often comes home to us with greatest power when we are faced with the darkest and bleakest situations, either in our personal lives or in the life of the nation.

And that is no different this Holy Week and Easter. Whether we are facing particular challenges in our own lives or grieving the devastating attacks in Westminster and now this past week in Stockholm or facing the horror of the Sarin chemical attack in Syria - we are brought face to face with bleak and dark situations. We wonder how these things can be.

It is at times like this that we need to hear and receive again the profound message of hope that love triumphs over hatred, and life over death. In the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the world to come breaks through into this world. In the darkest and bleakest situations, either in our personal or national lives, we need that deep hope and faith in the power of Christ to transform us and our world.

And so, in the midst of all that we face together and as individuals, this Easter may we know that deep hope – and may the light of Christ, rising victorious, banish all darkness from our hearts and minds.

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