‘At Easter, let the light of Christ banish darkness’

March 31, 2024

An Easter Sunday message from the Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church:

“We find ourselves in a difficult place this Easter, with conflicts ravaging parts of the world from Ukraine to Syria and Yemen to Nigeria. There is anguish as we witness young Palestinians struggling with hunger, while desperate families in Israel and Nigeria seek their loved ones.

“Amidst all of this distress, people have told me they will find it difficult to celebrate Easter at such a time of torment. However, it is because of what is happening around us in our world that we need to celebrate Easter with as much noise, joy and hope as possible.

“I have twice had the privilege of preaching in St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and on one of those occasions I was very aware of the hostility and the violence around me. Yet we processed and we joined the community in their celebrations; we watched the uniformed organisations on parade and we prayed amidst a tension you could almost touch.

“We prayed and sang in chapels and churches, on lakeside and hillsides, praying for peace in Jerusalem and for the people of the world. We didn’t hide who we were and who we worshipped. To do so would have been odd in the Land of the Holy One. We rejoiced at seeing these holy places and I believe we need to rejoice again this Easter, because to dim our celebration also dims the light offered through Christ,

“If we stop celebrating, we simply give more space for the darkness to grow.

“Our friends in Bethlehem ask us to celebrate Easter fully, and to pray for them as they try to do the same. Let the light of Christ enter this world and banish the darkness. Alleluia.”