I am writing this letter in the middle of Holy Week. I know that we are all heartsick over the pandemic that has come upon the world. None of us is unaffected. This week, our faith points us to the reality and fact of our Lord’s suffering. His painful path to Calvary was a path of agony. Of all the things we know about the last week of His life, we know one thing: Jesus knows human pain; He knows suffering.
As we see in our world today, there is an immense amount of human suffering. When we look at the surging death tolls in the US, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, and around the world, we see it. We want to look away and ignore it, but we cannot. We are seeing human suffering and economic challenges on a level that few alive today have previously witnessed.
However, the story of Holy Week is that God has witnessed it before. He was in it. He knows suffering. He knows pain. He knows the sorrows of the human heart.
This is the truth of the Gospel story of Christ’s death; a death we observe and honor this week. Somehow, knowing that Christ suffered eases the suffering of everyone who knows Him. I hope the knowledge of Christ’s journey to the Cross will draw you to faith and repentance, touching and healing your own soul, too.
This Easter, Sunday, April 12th, something truly amazing will take place. For the first time in the history of the world, the Resurrection message of hope and eternal life can reach more people than ever before. Think about it.
Our churches will not physically meet together to celebrate Easter, but they will be very active! The Good News will be broadcast on TV and radio, streamed, Facebooked, Zoomed, video linked, and electronically spread to more people in more nations and more communities than ever before!
I am proud of the clergy and the leaders in our Anglican churches. They are determined to get the Good News of Jesus Christ “out there.” Even in these days (actually, because of these days), the message will get out further and wider than ever. It will be communicated in living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens to whoever has a laptop, tablet, cellphone, or desktop computer.
This means that we have a chance this Holy Week and Easter to literally reach the world with the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ! Let us pray that God will use this time to reach millions with His message.
People we could never reach at any other time will hear a message of hope in Christ. They will hear that suffering will not have the final say in our lives. They will hear that death has been vanquished, totally defeated. Jesus is alive! There is an end to suffering, and in the end, joy breaks through. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 15:57).
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America
PS: Many of our people and congregations are experiencing significant financial challenges in these days. This Easter, please consider making a generous contribution to your local Anglican church!