EASTER PASTORAL LETTER

Easter Pastoral Letter  

My Dear Albanian Community,  

A lot can happen in a week, and as we near the end of Holy Week, it is always a humbling time for me when I sit and think about how the events of a seven-day span over 2,000 years ago completely reshaped our world. This year, I want to begin my reflection with a question: “Do you ever feel like you’re facing challenges left, right and centre? Like there is no hope! And no matter what you do, things just don’t feel like they will get better”?  

Friends, It is quite common to feel overwhelmed by challenges at times and to experience moments where hope seems distant. These feelings can weigh heavily on us and make it difficult to see a way forward. But it is important to remember that you’re not alone in these struggles. Many people, at different points in their lives, have felt the same way. As long as we are alive, even in the midst of these challenges,  there is always the possibility for hope to emerge and for things to improve. The Christian faith teaches us that every day provides the potential for hope and a brighter future if we trust in God and put all of our hope in Him and his unchanging love. As we celebrate the most important event in human history – the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ – I would like to encourage you never to lose hope no matter what you may be going through at this present moment.  

In just seven days, the events leading to the first Easter transformed the course of human history and laid the foundation for the Christian faith. It is a testament to the enduring power of belief, sacrifice, and love. The Easter Story offers profound lessons that can provide guidance and comfort when facing challenges. As a young boy, I often wondered how this was possible. Firstly, how and why is it that God could become human in the form of Jesus? To be born in this world that is full of sin, pain and rejection. The Bible teaches that God is almighty and full of glory, so why choose to leave it all behind and become one of us?  

This is the mystery of the Christian faith, and the answer lies in God’s boundless love for humanity. Despite our flaws and shortcomings,  God’s love for us is unconditional and unwavering, and by taking on human form, Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions, joys,  and struggles. Jesus Himself faced challenges and had his faith tested many times. By this, Jesus demonstrates God’s desire to be closely  connected with all of humanity, to share in our joys and sorrows, and to ultimately offer us salvation and eternal life. Through Jesus, God  reveals the depth of His love and the lengths He is willing to go to reconcile us to Himself. 

So, while all of this may remain a mystery in many ways, it ultimately speaks to the profound love and compassion of God for each and every  one of us. Christ’s willingness to leave behind the glory of heaven and take on human form is a testament to the depth of God’s love and His  desire for a relationship with us. And so, if you are ever feeling hopeless and tired of life’s challenges, remember that God loves you and  hope is coming your way.  

With the rising of the sun on that first Easter morning, the stone was rolled away, and the tomb found empty. In this, death was conquered, and Christ emerged victorious. The fulfilment of humanity’s deepest longing for meaning, purpose, and connection with God, was made  possible through Jesus Christ. 

Like the disciples who encountered the risen Lord, we are invited to journey from doubt to faith, from fear to courage, and from despair to  hope. The promise of Easter assures us that no darkness is too great, no sin too grave, and no obstacle too great to be overcome. My prayer  for us as a community is that we will go forth with our hearts full of gratitude and hope. May the joy of the resurrection fill us with renewed  faith and courage to face whatever challenges lie ahead in 2024. As we live in the light of Christ, let us be beacons of hope and love,  illuminating the world with the promise of new life. 

The Reverend Thabang Jack Bengani
College Chaplain