by the Rev. Ray Hess
In the big scheme of things in the Roman Empire, Jesus of Nazareth was an insignificant nobody. He was Jew in an occupied remote part of the empire. He had no money, no political power, no military power, and a handful of followers. Even so, his personal presence and teaching were enough of a threat to the Roman rulers that they agreed to execute him along with other criminals and traitors. How could a person like this change the world?
This Holy Week and Easter we again proclaim Jesus as the one who was crucified and risen from the dead. Those who followed Jesus found a love which nothing could destroy. Jesus’ non-violent, self-giving love proved to be the greatest force on earth.
As I see the news day by day about our nation and world, I often feel that divisiveness and fear are running things. How does love stand a chance in our world now? Easter is the time of year to stand fast on the rock of Jesus’ love. Jesus is risen, and his love truly is triumphant over all darkness and evil.
I understand that we have many viewpoints in our parish about how to deal with the world’s problems, but I hope that we can unite in proclaiming Jesus’ love for all people, especially for those who are suffering or downcast. Easter is the season to let all people know that love, compassion, and justice are the most important values for our nation and world.
Paul said, “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:13).” This year, let us join in working, praying, and giving to spread this greatest power of all – God’s love.
The joy of Easter be with you!