Easter Message

by Stephen Cottrell
Published: Updated:

By the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell

I wonder what your favourite story is? Perhaps it’s a favourite novel you’ve read recently, or maybe a book which you had when you were a child. It might be a story you’ve heard on the radio, or something you’ve been told by a friend. You might even be creatively minded and enjoy writing your own stories, using imagination to shape something you want to share with others.

Whatever your favourite is, these stories help to shape us as people, especially those which mean something to us in a particular way. They become a part of who we are. I imagine we all enjoy stories and storytelling—storytelling has been part of our human culture for centuries.

It might not be surprising to know that, for me, it is the story of Easter which has been most transformational in my life. The Easter story is one which brings us joy and hope in new life—it is the foundation of Christian faith as we share in the death and resurrection of Jesus. So often we encounter Jesus in the Bible telling stories to his friends, just as we do today, and it is the message of resurrection reflected in nature and seasons which offers us hope today. In a world which has so much that is hard to understand or live with—war, natural disaster, human suffering, rising living costs and poverty—we can embrace the same hope of that Easter story for a world which is grounded in justice, peace, and life-giving culture.

So as many of us exchange a card or greeting of ‘happy Easter’—can I encourage you to consider joining in the Holy Week and Easter services at your local church, proclaiming as has been done for 2000 years: Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Stephen Cottrell
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