Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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Easter 2003

 

"Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast”--1 Corinthians 5:7-8

 

“Jesus said to Peter, ‘Feed my Sheep.’ ’’ -John 21:17

 

Have you ever known a convert? Chances are you have. In fact, chances are each of us have been converted to something at one time or another. Life has a way of sifting us. With the support and encouragement of those who care about us, such sifting can lead to a new lease on life. Conversion may appear as a sudden and radical change. It can also mean slowly coming to recognize an influence that has been part of our pilgrimage for a long time. There is the blinding vision of St. Paul. There is the slow almost remedial progress of St. Peter. What each has in common is the emergence of a commitment that has been nurtured by love and grace. Commitments by their very nature draw us out of self and toward the other. Peter’s increasing care for the other disciples allows him to be drawn away from his own fears. Paul’s sudden realization. that he has placed himself as a barrier between God and others, frees him to break down the barriers to true community.
Easter is a feast of life in which our faith is nourished by The Lord of life. Our response is to be constantly open to a conversion towards all that is life giving. In our baptism we celebrate both the new life that is ours, and our commitment to life giving discipleship.
The last two questions in the baptismal covenant challenge us to think about the nature of such a conversion and commitment.

Will You seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

Love, service, justice, peace, respect, dignity, are the values of those who have been converted to an Easter faith. These values stand in stark contrast to the moral and spiritual famine of our world. It is in seeking, serving, and striving, in accordance with such values, that we witness to the message of resurrection. This Easter may we be renewed in our faith, continue in a Christ like life, and affirm the gift of life in others.

 

Archdeacon Rod Gillis
Easter, 2003

 

Almighty and everlasting God, in the paschal mystery you established the new covenant of reconciliation. Grant that all who are born again in baptism may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith. Grant this is the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.