Pastoral Letter: Easter People


During Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, we remember Jesus’s journey from being praised by people to being persecuted by people, as he is put on trial and executed. On the first Sunday of April, we recall that very first Easter more than two thousand years ago when Jesus rose from the dead. This is the story of our faith.

This year, though, that familiar story rings with new truth as news from around the world brings us stories of the persecution of religious and non-religious groups, including imprisonment, torture, and execution. Reading the Holy Week and Easter stories against the backdrop of global realities of the violent persecution of people in the name of God, or nationalism, is to experience our faith in a different way. We encounter the resurrection differently.

Jesus’s death must have been devastating to his followers in much the same way that displaced people in our own time are trying to reimagine life after losing their homes, their families, and their way of life. The thought of resurrection, the promise of new life in spite of present circumstances, has deep and profound meaning.

It is this seemingly impossible claim that defines who we are as followers of Christ—Easter people who live in the hope that God can and does make all things new. God can and does transform death into new life, desperation into renewed hope. It may sound and feel ridiculous, but this is our claim: God raised Jesus Christ from the dead so that we may have new life and live differently in this world—here and now.

As we live into this Easter season, let us claim this resurrection for ourselves and live into its message of transformation. May we live as Easter people, always pointing toward hope, forgiveness, reconciliation, and new life in a world that at times is heavy with realities of violence, injustice, and conflict. It is in this very world that we experience the resurrection, not only on Easter morning but on every day that we follow Christ and proclaim the good news: Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed!


Categories: Faith

Author:Chris Heckert

Senior Pastor of Haddonfield United Methodist Church Musician, communicator, husband/father, seeker of a better way through reconciliation by the healing power of God's love


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