The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, has offered his Easter Message:
Easter Message from the Archbishop of Cape Town
From the Anglican Church of Southern Africa's website
I wonder how many times you have heard the words ‘Alleluia, Christ is risen – we are risen, Alleluia!’ And while it may be too much to say that familiarity breeds contempt, nonetheless, those of us brought up in the Christian tradition tend to know these words so well that we are anaesthetised to their true force. We have got used to the idea that God did the impossible: a dead man was not merely resuscitated, to grow old and die again, but resurrected to the new life of heaven, of eternity – with the implication that though all of us must pass through death, death does not have the victorious final word. No, life can triumph over death, and if we put our hand in the hand of the living God, we can begin to experience what such triumph means, even this side of the grave.
This year, the enormity of the claims of Easter have struck me in a deeper way. In early March I spent five days in Haiti, almost overwhelmed by the scale of the tragedy brought about by January’s earthquake. I encountered death and destruction that was almost impossible to grasp, even though it was before my very eyes. I cannot describe my emotions, seeing bodies trapped in buildings from which it was too dangerous to move them, feeling my nostrils fill with the stench of rotting flesh.
My purpose was to offer support to the Anglican Bishop and his people. Yet I found myself learning from their faith in the midst of such heartbreak. One afternoon Bishop Duracin showed us his lovely home, totally collapsed with all his possessions destroyed, and his car flattened. ‘It is gone, all gone’ he said. He wept, and I wept too, as he showed where his wife had been trapped (she was later flown to Florida for medical treatment and for weeks he was denied a visa to visit her). Then this brave man pointed to all he had lost and said ‘We still have to sing alleluia, for in the midst of this, Christ is risen.’