North East Connected

Easter is a time of Hope

“Hope means that despite the difficulties, or the enormity of the problem, humans will resist and eventually overcome”

A University Chaplain shares his Easter message this weekend and it is one of hope in a year when we continue to work collectively through the global pandemic.

Covid-19 will once again affect the way Easter will be celebrated. To protect our own lives and those of others, we cannot fill the streets with processions and congregate in churches yet. Instead, we will celebrate Easter once again in our own way, whether that’s in our own homes, or meeting outside while sticking to the rule of six.

And while many people may be experiencing fear and uncertainty, as well as trauma, isolation and loss of family members, the message of Easter continues to be a joyful one of courage and hope says Reverend Chris Howson, Chaplain to the University of Sunderland and Anglican Priest at Sunderland Minster.

“Hope’ is a doing word. Hope happens when scientists are working hard on a vaccine or a cure. Hope happens when a stranger is helpful and kind to a student far away from home. Hope is when people give to charities that are helping political prisoners or feeding those who are facing starvation. Hope is when lecturers and staff work extra hard with new technologies so that our students can complete their studies and still thrive during a pandemic.

“Hope is found in our hospitals and in our schools and in our supermarkets and wherever people have served others to keep the community going over the last 12 months. Hope is not a vague and immaterial abstraction. Hope is an action.

“It is Easter, and for me as a Christian, the hope I experience in the resurrection is not an idea, but a concrete reality. Two thousand years ago, it was a defiant act of hope in the face of violence, cruelty and oppression. Simply put, the resurrection shows that death and violence do not have the final say. Whenever I see people standing up against poverty, inequalities and violence, I see the hope of the resurrection. Hope means that that despite the difficulties, or the enormity of the problem, humans will resist and eventually overcome. Whether it is violence toward women, racism, homophobia or the issues that come with poverty or climate change – hope comes from the practical steps we can all take to put things right.

“Hope is a doing word. So go and do some hoping this Easter.”

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