Easter Message 2020 – From The Rt. Rev. Laish Boyd
MESSAGE BY Bishop of the Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands “He is arisen! He is not here!” – Matthew 28:6
What is the greatest change that you can imagine? Peas and rice turning into white rice? Mashed potatoes turning into ice cream? Normally, changes like this do not happen in “real life”, but only in fairy tales. However, God made such a miraculous change on the first Easter Day: God changed death into life by raising His Son, Jesus, from the dead.
Many people found this hard to believe. Some perplexed disciples rushed to check the tomb when reports reached them that Jesus’ body was not there (John 20:3- 5). Thomas, even after several reports, said that he would not believe unless he could touch the risen Lord himself. (John 20:24).
We understand THEIR doubts because we all have experienced doubt in our lives, but WE believe that our all-powerful God DID DO IT to show His love for us. Jesus rose from the dead to conquer sin and death for us, and also to bring us into a closer relationship with God than human beings had ever had before.
The Resurrection Story is the cornerstone of our Christian Faith. Although many have struggled and do struggle with it, many believe it, hold fast to it and find comfort in it.
The Resurrection Story is also a parable about what God has done throughout history: overcome great odds, bring His children through amazing ordeals and change the impossible into what is actually possible. This has been proven in human experience over and over again, and God desires to prove it in our lives today.
Here in the Bahamas and in The Turks and Caicos Islands, we consider the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.. After catastrophic damage and disruption, life is moving on. Many people are positive and rebuilding their lives to the best of their ability. Things could have been so much worse and, although things are not as rebuilt as we would want them to be, we press on and we will overcome. We have to admit that a lot has been accomplished. Those who went through it will tell you that it could only have been God’s doing that kept them through such a hurricane, and that brought them this far after it.
More current is the Covid-19, Coronavirus crisis, which is now a global pandemic. It has changed the world and changed our lives in a matter of weeks. We now live with the constant washing of hands, social distancing, face masks and staying at home, not to mention the fear about our safety and the uncertainty about how the virus spreads. More than 1.4 million persons have been infected. More than 91,000 persons have died – but more than 300,000 have recovered. What a praise report!! It is the direct hand of God working through medical science. The Covid-19 pandemic can be beaten. All around the world measures put in place are slowly proving effective,…slowly. God is a miracle-worker. We have to keep on and be persistent and consistent to see the best results.
We are not “out of the woods” with respect to Hurricane Dorian, and we are certainly not “out of the woods” with respect to Covid-19. However, we have the track record and the promise of a conquering Saviour, who encourages us throughout the scriptures and in everyday life experience. He works miracles and He has done and will continue to do marvelous things. He gives us knowledge and wisdom for us to make good decisions and to be good stewards. – He is a constant OVERCOMER and so are we!
And both experiences – Dorian and Covid-19 – remind us that we have to try not to complain so much. Many things may be amiss, but there are so many things that we can give thanks for. Look on the resurrection side of the garden, not on the crucifixion side. Remember that your worst day is someone’s best day.
One final note: remember that we cannot sit IDLY BY & WAIT for a resurrection miracle to happen in our lives. We must do our part by living and doing good, facing our challenges and working toward a better day, because faith without works is useless. Let us be educated on the issues, up to date with the latest news developments, complying with best advice and national protocols, and THEN allowing God to work His miracle on that platform.
All of this is the hope and victory of the resurrection put into action.
May Jesus’ message fill your heart and cause you to share Him with others, telling the story that He is arisen. He will help us to overcome mountains in our ordinary lives.
Irish hymnwriter, Thomas Kelly (1765-1855), wrote a hymn in 1804. Its words still ring true today. Two verses say:
“O joyful sound! O glorious hour,
When by his own almighty power
He rose and left the grace…
O risen Lord, in Thee we live,
To Thee our ransomed souls we give,
To Thee our bodies trust.”
Happy Easter to you and your families from the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands