ON Easter morning, Christians will say: Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed. Alleluia!

It is the cry of joy as we celebrate Jesus rising from the grave. As we celebrate that fear, death, anxiety and pain will never have the last word. In the end God’s love is stronger, and the love of God will prevail.

When the women disciples found the tomb empty on the first Easter day, we are told they went to share the news, ‘afraid, ‘but filled with joy.’

It’s easy for us to be afraid. The cost-of-living is soaring alongside war in Ukraine and the climate crisis; the list goes on and on. Fear and anxiety are a natural part of being human. But as Easter people, as Christians, we know that beyond all these things lies the risen Lord Jesus, reaching out to us and saying ‘Peace be with you.’

Jesus reaches out to our broken and scarred world with hands still bearing the marks of the nails and says: ‘Do not be afraid, for all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. And behold I am with you always, even to the end of time.’

It’s OK to admit to doubt, OK to say we are fearful and anxious, but these should never have the last word. Afraid we may be, but ‘filled with Joy!’

Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed. Alleluia!

Martin Gorick, Bishop of Dudley