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In this Easter message, National Bishop Susan Johnson (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) and Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls (Anglican Church of Canada) remind us of the hope, joy, and promise of the risen Christ.:

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“I have seen the Lord!”

[Archbishop Linda Nicholls] Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord."

[Bishop Susan Johnson] The joy and hope and promise of Easter are summed up in these five words. I have seen the Lord. In these last few years, it has been hard for us to hold onto this message of hope. The COVID pandemic has ravaged our world with illness and fear and death underlined injustices of poverty, racism, and abuse, and caused us to close borders and fear the other. Natural disasters have harmed people, the land, and property through fire, extreme heat, drought, flooding, and extreme cold.

[Archbishop Nicholls] The discovery of unmarked graves at a number of former Indian Residential Schools has shocked our nation and retraumatized many Indigenous peoples. We experienced a convoy expressing anger at COVID restrictions, shutting down border crossings, and paralyzing downtown Ottawa.

[Bishop Johnson] Conflicts continue to rage in Yemen, Ethiopia, Syria, Afghanistan, and against the Rohingya and Uyghur peoples. Russia is waging war in Ukraine. And the number of displaced people in our world continues to grow. For the first time since the Cold War, there is fear about the use of nuclear arms.

[Archbishop Nicholls] Mary Magdalene went to the tomb full of fear and despair. They were living under harsh Roman occupation and Jesus had been crucified. Hopes and dreams of a new and just world were dashed. But after Mary's encounter with the living Christ, she becomes the first evangelist, and her announcement, I have seen the Lord, ignites joy, hope, and promise.

[Bishop Johnson] In these times of trial we have seen the Lord as well in the kindness of strangers, in the response to community needs from churches and other organizations, in the generous donations to victims of war and natural disaster, in the commitment that every child matters and that reconciliation between settlers and Indigenous peoples is still possible.

[Archbishop Nicholls] I have seen the Lord in the beauty and wonder and constant renewal and recreation of God's earth. And in the faces of people who in the midst of all of that struggle and despair have found resilience and hope in community together.

[Bishop Johnson] I have seen the Lord as I have worshipped with you online whether it's through Zoom or Facebook live or whatever. I see the eagerness of people to still hear and participate in the Gospel message of hope. This Easter, we can again celebrate with Mary the hope, joy, and promise of the risen Christ. With her and all the faithful, we can proclaim: I have seen the Lord.

[Archbishop Nicholls] Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen.