Easter Message from Bishop Cowden
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Hello, dear friends. I’m Bishop Matthew and this is Easter 2023. I’m here at Sandscrest, our retreat center in the northern part of the Diocese, on what has turned out to be a fairly windy day, to bring you message and good tidings of great news: Christ is Risen. It’s a custom in the Episcopal Church on Sunday, after Easter, in the end of the day when the candles have all been packed away, when the music and the organ has been shut down, and people are excited and grateful that the Easter has been another great and joyous worshipful celebration in the church: we have a tradition and a custom that at the close of the day on Sunday, we read from Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 24:13, the Road to Emmaus.
The disciples who were walking along the way when Jesus appeared in their midst but they did not yet recognize him. Though they said their hearts were burning within them even while they heard Jesus explaining the scriptures and how the Messiah was supposed to suffer, it was not until they invited into their home to break bread with them, to offer the blessing. He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them in what echoes the Eucharistic action with his disciples at the Last Supper. Their eyes were finally opened, their hearts set ablaze. They knew they were in the presence of the Holy One.
So, too, friends, at the close of your Easter Sunday, at the last of the day, whether you’ve finished feasting with friends or you’re in the quiet of yourself at home. I invite you to read the words of the scripture from Luke 24:13 and to continue to invite Jesus into your heart and into your home. I hope and pray that you continue to hope and pray in the presence of the one who is Risen for you, to continue to be a people of prayer privately and publicly, and also in the intimacy of your table and hearth and home. Happy Easter, dear friends. Alleluia! Christ is Risen!