To believe in the resurrection of Jesus is to be incorporated in a spiritual and political struggle for life against death, empowered by God’s love rather than by the forces of oppression and division, says the Anglican Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, in a tough-talking Easter Message.
“Jesus preached about the forgiveness and graciousness of God and sought to free people from everything that enslaved and oppressed them,” declared the Archbishop, highlighting the radical impact of the Gospel. “For him there were no prior conditions for being accepted by God, whatever your sex, status or position. You were a child of God made in his image. His resurrection was a triumph over the forces of evil – the forces of racism, militarism, nationalism, sexism and poverty.”
He continued: “To be ‘in Christ’ then is an invitation to join in that struggle, to take part in Christ’s mission and to fight against everything that enslaves and de-humanises human beings and, of course, to do so non-violently.”
Dr Morgan elaborated: “There are enough issues in our world, country and church that show clearly that men and women are still being oppressed and treated as slaves. Not just child soldiers in Angola or Korea, sweat labour in Thailand and China, and the oppressive regime of Mugabe in Zimbabwe. But also here in Wales where in 2005 there were 20,000 homeless people, 7,000 of whom were children. Sexual trafficking in young people and women is still rife in this country, and foreign nationals are often forced to live on the poverty line because their employers take back for their keep the little they pay them in wages.”
His message also hit tackled the problems of the Christian community. “[W]e still live in a church where it is not possible for women to be bishops and in a church too where most worshippers are women but all the major committees and councils of most dioceses and province are run by men and in a[n Anglican] Communion where gay people feel increasingly isolated and marginalised and even persecuted.”
Concluded the Archbishop of Wales: “In the end it is not enough to believe in the resurrection as a proposition or as an article of faith, because resurrection is not just about a dead Jesus coming to life again, it is about us allowing God’s spirit to work afresh in us as he worked in Jesus. Resurrection means joining in God’s recreation of his world as and when and where, we can.”