ELCA Presiding Bishop’s 2014 Easter Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My favorite story in Scripture is the account in John’s Gospel of Mary Magdalene going to the tomb. It was the first Easter, but Mary didn’t know that. She expected death. In her profound grief she couldn’t recognize Jesus. It was only when Jesus called her by name that she was able to see the risen Lord.

Jesus saw Mary. Jesus knew Mary. Jesus spoke “Mary.” It was being completely seen, utterly known and lovingly called that opened Mary Magdalene to the hope of the resurrection and into a deeper relationship with Christ. Because she was seen she could see.

This is Easter vision. We have been seen, known and called by God through the crucified and risen Savior and, having received the Spirit through baptism, we all can now see. We can see Christ, and we can see Christ in our neighbor. No one is invisible to God, and no one is invisible to us. What wondrous love is this!

So beloved, with newly opened eyes let us be bold to say, “Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Hallelujah!”

Blessed Easter,

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America