Archbishop’s Ecumenical Easter Letter 2011 – ‘The victory is won’
God has, from all eternity, loved us: and, when we realise that fact, nothing else can finally shape our minds and hearts. We are anchored in that love: it does not protect us from harm, or from hard decisions, or from emotional turmoil and profound grief, or anger at the pain of the world.
It simply assures us that there is finally no contest between God’s love and the forces of disintegration in the world and in the human spirit. When this unqualified love is denied and abused, even when it is pushed away with the utmost arbitrary violence, it proves itself indestructible. The Crucified is raised to life.
Two things—at least —follow. First, if God’s love is like this, no one can ever be seen as falling outside its scope. No human person is ever less than the object of eternal self-giving attention and delight. And that dictates how we see each and every person, those who seem to have no human hope, those who do all they can to reject God and God’s truth, those who understand little or nothing of God’s ways. It is because of this conviction that the oppression or suffering of any person is so deeply painful and outrageous for the believer, who cries out to God for grace and mercy to transform such situations.
Second, if the deepest truth is always this committed and indestructible love, even the smallest act of service or compassion is worthwhile, a way of being in contact with the truth. It may seem to make little difference, it may not guarantee success as we usually understand it, but it becomes part of the current of truth flowing eternally against the lies and injustices of a world in which our own interest or safety takes precedence over everything. We witness, even when we cannot be sure of persuading or changing. How clearly this comes out in the courage of those Christian minorities who continue their worship and service in the face of daily threats and attack; and how powerful a testimony this is to the reality of the resurrection of the Son of God.
The victory is won: however terrible the conflict in the present moment, the truth of God is not in danger of defeat.