Bishop Mark Hanson: An Easter Message

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Easter. It is about more than an open tomb. It is the good news of the risen Christ who opens lives.

Think about Jesus' friends after his death. Their lives were closed down by fear, disappointment and confusion. The risen Christ appeared saying "peace be with you" and opened their lives with a liberating word of reconciliation. In the same way Christ opens your life with a baptismal promise that joins your life to his death and resurrection. "You are my child. Nothing in all creation will separate you from my love."

Even now Christ is opening your life, your daily work, your passions and imagination. Christ is opening your daily life into a holy calling that fills the world with love. At the Lord's table, Christ is opening you into a community that can bear even suffering with confidence, and sorrow with hope.

The risen Christ opens the Scriptures -- the full depth of God's promise made to Sarah and Abraham now coming to life in the new creation. Even when everything else is being stripped away, the risen Christ opens you to God's promised future.

Christ opens you to God's work of forgiveness and reconciliation. Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, is opening this way of life for you.

In God's grace,

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson

Presiding Bishop

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


View the video version of the 2013 Easter message at: