Bishop Karowei writes...
‘Beware, the Morning-after Blues’
I am thankful to God for the exciting and encouraging Easter Celebrations in our parishes across our Diocese. I have been encouraged by the living testimony of Christ in our parishes, during my visits as the new Bishop of Woolwich.
In this post-Easter season looking forward to Ascension and Pentecost, we may feel the natural low that comes after a high. However, I am encouraged that although our faith journeys could be like a rollercoaster ride, we are distinctly people of the Easter faith. We are called to proclaim the good news of the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who conquered death, our living hope who sustains us, as we look to him for grace, our starter and finisher. (Heb. 12:1f)
The eleven disciples were like us, full of faith, but riddled with fear, uncertainties and doubt. After experiencing the Triduum – the Last Supper, Calvary and Empty Tomb, they locked themselves up in fear of the Jewish authorities. They had been with Jesus Christ, seen the sick healed, the lame walk, the dead raised. Yet, they were scared, afraid, filled with doubt and unbelief.
According to Mark’s Gospel, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But, when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. Later he appeared to them as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole world”. (Mark16:9f)
Mark’s Gospel points out that;
- Mary Magdalene, a chosen witness, after seeing the empty tomb told the disciples of the resurrection, but, they did not believe it because of they were overwhelmed with grief, sorrow, fear and incredulity. We too, are often not believed as witnesses of this same gospel in our modern secular world. However, nothing can change the good news of salvation through Jesus, our risen Lord.
- In our Christian discipleship, the passions of Christ and his resurrection are interwoven. We are to hold in tension the reality of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We may think it will be easier if we did not have to defend these truths. The resurrection is said to be one of the best attested to events in history. (1)
Jesus Christ challenged the obstinacy and incredulity of the disciples because they failed to hold in tension those important truths. He took the initiative and sent them to proclaim the good news. Today, he challenges our incredulity and warns us to beware, the morning after blues. And, to hold the cross and the resurrection in tension, ready to ‘tell the good news to all’, with hearts on fire, walking with Jesus and led by the Spirit. (Luke 24:13-35) Shalom.
(1) F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: (Downers Grove, Ill. IVP 1987) 10