Christ is risen!

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

Whilst we were all pleased to share this greeting yesterday there was an undercurrent of something less pleasing.

How could we celebrate when others were suffering, even dying?  You might argue that such a situation is always true – on Easter Sunday there is always suffering somewhere in the world.  This year, however, that pain seemed more real, present to the extent that we could not put it aside.

As on Palm Sunday we continue to cry ‘Hosanna! Save us!’ on behalf of both the Ukrainian people and their Russian oppressors.

Yesterday we prayed for wisdom for all world leaders, whatever their position.  We prayed for help and guidance for the leaders of the church at home and worldwide. We asked for wisdom for Archbishop Welby… and we brought to God our concerns  for the leaders of the Orthodox churches, especially Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Bartholomew leader of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.  We asked that all refugees, rather than celebrating, might find comfort in the resurrection of Jesus.

Increasingly I find myself standing in one of the pictures I have seen on the news – a bombed city with destroyed buildings.  I cannot find the words to pray but I weep…

When we cannot find the words the Holy Spirit fills us and groans within us.

Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.

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