Easter is a Resurrection Process. While the event itself stands by itself; the death, agony and suffering that precede it are all part of the process. We cannot understand Resurrection and celebrate Easter without reflecting on the events that led to it. Amidst agony, suffering and the fear of the unknown, Resurrection reminds one of the miraculous overcoming of death wrought by the mercy and compassion of our Lord.
This has been a confusing winter in the Holy Land, with spells of Siberian cold weather intermixed with hot sunny days. Confusion in this Holy Land, and indeed our world, is apparently a persistent human predicament. Conflict continues in Palestine and Israel even during the holiest of days for all three religions of the Land; the invasion of Ukraine reminds us of the precariousness of peace; the situation in Syria with millions of refugees and displaced begs for a political settlement; the dire condition of Lebanon reflects on human irresponsibility; Yemen, Libya and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa are experiencing difficult times amidst ongoing costly conflicts. We are all in need of rebirth and resurrection. In Jerusalem, atop the Mount of Olives, red poppies are all over reminding us to keep faith.
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:25-34
The celebration of Easter in our part of the world with all its rites, rituals and religious processions, from Palm Sunday to the Stations of the Cross to the Saturday of Light, Sabt Al Nour, are all a reflection of the determination of the Christian communities to persevere, to keep the faith and to be part of the kaleidoscope that is the Middle East.
We in the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches are part of the determination of our communities to persevere. The empty tomb to us, as to all our ecumenical families, prods us to optimism, hope for a better future and to work for an abundant life to all citizens of this troubled region.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
المسيح قام حقا قام
Al Masih Qam - Haqqan Qam
Christ has Arisen! Indeed, He has!