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Resurrected by the Waters of Baptism: Bishop Shannon’s Easter Message

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Tonight, on this holiest of nights, when Jesus crossed over from death to life, we often celebrate the sacrament of baptism at the Easter Vigil. Perhaps more than any other service of the church year, the vigil reminds us that we, too, have been baptized into Jesus’ death and raised with him into resurrected life.

But how do we learn to live—truly live—as people who have been resurrected by the waters of baptism?

In Matthew’s story of the resurrection, we find an answer. Mary and Mary come to the tomb just in time to witness the earth quaking as the angel makes his entrance. It makes me think that the angel could barely stand to wait for their arrival! The angel was full of eruptive excitement waiting for them, eager to let them know that their prayers, hopes, and faith had not been in vain.

The Marys didn’t linger in the tomb to try to find Jesus’ body. They were ready for his resurrection, even if they didn’t know exactly what it meant for them. They were ready for new life, a fresh reality undefined by anything they had known before, except their experience of Jesus’ ministry. They were ready to begin their lives again.

Can you picture yourself at the empty tomb? If you could start your life fresh, all over again, without the bondage of past mistakes, or distracting hurts, without fear of failure or disapproval, or whatever holds you back, how would you live differently? How would you talk to family and friends? What things would you stop doing? What would your priorities be? How would you spend your time, your money, your self? What cause might you join? What prayers would you pray?

Beloved, today and every day, God gives us just this opportunity to make a fresh start — to wake up each day and say “I am baptized! How will I live my resurrection life?”

May we embrace the promise of new life at Easter, now and forever.

Peace and blessings,

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