This weekend is a special time for so many of us. For Christians like me, Easter Sunday is the most holy day of the year. Easter, not Christmas, is the epicentre of our religion, because it marks the death (on Good Friday) and resurrection (on Easter Sunday) of our saviour Jesus Christ. As the Bible tells us: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ – John 3:16
This weekend also marks the Jewish festival of Passover, which commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from the Egyptians. In the current climate, the words of the former Chief Rabbi Lord (Jonathan) Sacks seem particularly pertinent: “The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it.”
I am concerned by the reports coming from Sri Lanka of fatalities after explosions at six churches and hotels. Such loss of life is intolerable at any time, but particularly at this Holy time.
These are turbulent and uncertain times for our country and our world. But the story of humanity is one of hope and progress. There are no certainties or inevitabilities, only possibilities and opportunities. It’s up to us to make the most of them and, whether you’re religious or not, to make sure that democracy, freedom, dignity, joy and human rights prosper in the 21st century.
Christians, Jews and people of all faiths and none have been enjoying the happy coincidence of the sunshine and the bank holiday weekend. I hope you’ve had a good one.