Rector's Chronicle

Eastertide 2018

Dear parishioners and friends of Christ Church,

C.S. Lewis’ well-known book, Mere Christianity, began as a series of radio talks Lewis was invited to give during the Second World War. The very fact he was so invited points to the deep hunger for a rational exposition of Christian faith during that time of national and global crisis. Lewis had a reputation for being someone who could speak with the ordinary person. He was a brilliant academic who could write treatises with the best of them, but whose objective in all of his Christian writings was to speak to the world outside the university classroom. One recurring image used by Lewis has always resonated with me. He describes the world in terms of an enemy occupied country. The enemy dominates and controls the land but, since Christ has invaded and leads the forces of liberation, the enemy has been on the defensive ever since. You can see why such an analogy would have resonated in the Britain of 1941-44. First, there was the real threat of German invasion. And then, as the tide turned, hope of an invasion to liberate Europe grew in its place.

Easter signals Christ’s invasion of our occupied world. The enemy is still around, of course. The evil that occupies the hearts of the vicious, the violent, and the corrupt is in plain sight. The Ash Wednesday shooting in Florida is but one piece of that deep darkness. It reminds us we don’t have far to look in order to see the enemy’s forces on the march. But Christ’s invasion still sweeps on too. And, if this is true, why was evil not defeated long ago? Because each generation has the same struggle to endure and the same victory to win. Like a ripple spreading outward on a pond, the cross and resurrection move across the ages and generations of humanity - ever the same and yet ever new.

As we celebrate Easter 2018 - the 200th Easter since the founding of this congregation, we are reminded that divine history runs alongside, above, and through the history of our world and of our own lives. We continually see analogies for Christ’s coming in our own circumstances. More than that, though, we come to discover that the realities of the cross and the empty tomb are not just out there. They are written deep in the narrative of our own experience. At the most profound level, this is what life is all about. We think of our founders - how they faced evil in their day and how, in Christ, they experienced the new life of this congregation bursting forth as a result of the sacrifices they made. Today, we rejoice in the new life we have found here. In each act of worship which feeds and heals; in each act of friendship which comforts and uplifts; in each act of service and sacrifice which brings sustenance and blessing to another, Jesus Christ is risen indeed!

The invasion of the good, the true, and the holy has begun again. Alleluia. Alleluia. A happy and glorious Easter to you all!

The Reverend Timothy A. R. Cole