The Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, has recorded this year’s Easter message.
It was first broadcast during our Sunday Breakfast programme with David Stone. A full transcript can be found below.
Do you know about the ancient Christian practice of beginning Easter services by lighting a fire? We were doing it this morning in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, when it was still dark. Its to recall that moment when the creation first came into being, an explosion of energy that set all things in motion. The energy of God. The same energy that rose Jesus from the dead in a new act of creation.
Fire in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral? That was destroyed by fire that rained down from the sky during the darkest days of the war? Fire this week of all weeks when we watched Notre Dame burn before our eyes? One of the great treasures of human civilisation.
Fire is terrifyingly powerful. Yes it can bring warmth and even light, mysteriously life itself even. But we know it can also devastate and we saw that so powerfully this week consuming everything in its path. Constantly threatening human life even in the 21st century.
We know the damage it did to our own Cathedral and we’ve seen again this week the damage it did to another great Cathedral of the world. But today, Easter day, we think about a stronger fire. The fire of Gods love. That raises Jesus from the dead and defeats every enemy, even that oldest enemy of human life, death itself.
That fire ignited the vision to rebuild our Cathedral as a sign of hope for the whole world. For a better future of peace. And that fire of Gods love which is even now empowering the people of Paris to overcome their adversity and rebuild Notre Dame so that it can continue to be even more so an enduring symbol of the Easter faith in resurrection.
That fire. The fire of Gods love can overcome all the fires of destruction that rage throughout the world. That fire of Gods love can burn in our hearts with the warmth of comfort to heal us when we’ve been hurt, and to put aside the hate which can so easily build up within us. That fire. The fire of Gods love can burn in our families and communities and bring the light of a common humanity even when we are in disagreement with each other about anything. The fire of Gods love can burn in our world with that energy that only God can bring to bring our conflicts and turn them into peace.
I pray that this Easter, especially this Easter day, but in the weeks and months ahead you my know the power of Gods love within you. The power that rose Jesus from the dead and overcame death for us all. Let that burn within you this Easter so that you can have hope, and joy, and life everlasting.