How will you respond?—Great and Holy Pascha

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen!

Christ is risen!

In his great love for you and in his great love for me, God has given us the blessing to receive his Pascha, to be witnesses of his Resurrection, to live—here and now, in the midst of this fallen world—the resurrected life.  Christ is risen and the demons quake!  Christ is risen and the angels rejoice!  Christ is risen and Earth is united with Heaven!  Christ is risen and life reigns!

And the Evangelist, the beloved disciple and Theologian John, living this life of resurrection, takes us back: “In the beginning.”  But this is different, his words speak to us not of Creation but of an eternal reality, before the first day.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  For now, having been witnesses of the Resurrection we can come to see Christ as the centre of God’s revelation to man, Christ is the perfect Image, Christ is through whom we may come to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Christ is risen!

This is not a declaration of an event from two thousand years ago, an historical record we might read about in a textbook: Christ lives.  And Christ is here present with us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)  Christ is risen and we live this, we participate in this, we receive him and are united to him.

What then, dear brothers and sisters, will be your response?  Will you return to you past life unchanged?  Will you hear the message but resist its power?  Will I?  Or will we endeavour to encounter our risen Lord in all we do, to be transformed by him?  Will we seek to encounter him through prayer, through work, through friendships, through family, through joys and sorrows, through blessings and curses?  Encounter him and be transformed by him.

Let us, dear brothers and sisters, crucify all that is earthly, all that is mortal, all that is perishing and so identify with Christ that we may say together with the Apostle to the Nations, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Christ is risen!

To our risen Saviour Jesus Christ be all glory, dominion and power, together with his Unoriginate Father and the All-holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit, Amen.

In the first book, O Theophilos, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of lsrael?” He said to them, “it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.
— Acts of the Apostles 1:1–8

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'”) And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
— John 1:1–17