“We are here in a world struggling to find its soul, but the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not, cannot, and will not overcome it,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry said in his Easter 2023 message. “Jesus lives. He has been raised from the dead. That is the message of Easter, and that is the good news of great tidings.”
The festive day of Easter is Sunday, April 9.
The following is the full text of the presiding bishop’s Easter 2023 message, lightly edited for clarity:
This is a different Easter message. I’ve shared Easter messages from Jerusalem some years ago, and I have shared Easter and Christmas messages from a variety of locations. Last year for Christmas, we were in San Diego. Today I’m in Paris, part of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. We just finished a revival—over 50 young people and some 300-400 people from all over Europe who came for this revival service. It was a remarkable thing to behold and be part of.
The Convocation here in Europe is engaged in incredible ministries, with some joining together with Episcopal Relief & Development to make it possible for resettlement of those who are refugees from war and famine, particularly those who are refugees from Ukraine.
Thinking about it—I realize not only with this view—but with the reality of Easter looming on our horizon, John’s Gospel opens: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then there is a point in which it says, of Christ coming into the world, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.”
On that early Easter morning, John says in his 20th chapter, that early in the morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene and some of the other women went to the tomb. They went to the tomb after the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. They went to the tomb of their world having fallen apart. They went to the tomb of all their hopes and dreams having collapsed.
But they got up and they went anyway. They went to perform the rites of burial, to do for a loved one what you would want to do for them. They went, following the liturgies of their religion and their tradition, and, lo and behold, when they went, they discovered that, even in the darkness, the light of God’s love, the light of Jesus Christ—the light of Christ, as we say in the Great Vigil—in fact, was shining in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Jesus had been raised from the dead. He was alive, and darkness and evil and selfishness could not stop him. Love—as the old song says—love lifted him up.
We are here in Paris, this wonderful city. While there are protests going on in the city—garbage has not been collected, and it’s all over the city—we are here in Paris, in Europe, with refugees streaming into this continent from all over the world, impacted by changes in weather pattern, impacted by war and famine. We are here in a world struggling to find its soul, but the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not, cannot, and will not overcome it. Jesus lives. He has been raised from the dead. That is the message of Easter, and that is the good news of great tidings. From Paris, I’m Michael Curry. God love you. God bless you, and the light shines in the darkness, wherever there is darkness. This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Amen.