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From the Desk of Bishop DAVID                            Around the Diocese
Paschal Message of His Grace, Bishop David of Sitka and Alaska

Today is salvation come unto the world, to that which is visible, and to that which is invisible. Christ is risen from the dead, rise ye with Him. Christ is returned again to Himself, return ye. Christ is freed from the tomb, be ye freed from the bond of sin. The gates of hell are opened, and death is destroyed, and the old Adam is put aside, and the New is fulfilled; if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; [2 Corinthians 5:17] be ye renewed.

Dear Beloved in the Lord,

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Today we lift our voices together and exclaim the Resurrection of Christ. With the words, “Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!” we inform the world that once more we are renewed through the risen Christ. Once more we stand at the empty tomb and receive the words of the Angel, “He is not here, He is risen!” This one act has had more impact than any other in human history and no greater hope has ever been given to mankind. But as St. Gregory reminds us, it is given for both the visible and the invisible world. It is an event that transcends earthly bounds and includes the world beyond this world. The proclamation of the Angel is for his world as much as ours. We need to think on this with our salvation in mind.

We are reminded that when mankind fell, all of creation fell with him. Both the visible and the invisible world became corrupted. So the resurrection of Christ is not just for us, but for all of God's creation. St. John the Theologian reminds us of this when he says in John 3:17, “For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him”. The connection for us is that everything is being renewed in the act of His rising from the dead. The old falls away like last year's snow, and we see once more a sleeping nature return to life. All things are renewed, and all around us are the signs of God's grace and blessing. We are called to proclaim this renewal by calling brothers even those that hate us. What more powerful idea could be given than to love our enemies, as our Lord has asked us to do? This is truly the message of Pascha, that no one is excluded, we are all together in the love of Christ.

Let us all show this joy of Pascha though this type of love.   Let us reach out to all those we know who are hurting, who have hatred in their heart, who feel dejected or alone in their life, and let us proclaim to them these glorious words, “Christ is risen!” And let them answer, “Indeed He is risen!” In this way we share the Holy Pascha and embrace everyone as our brothers and sisters.

May the joy of the glorious Good News of the Resurrection renew your spirit and life. May you be blessed with the grace of God and know that He has conquered death for each one of us so that we may all enjoy the eternal kingdom with Him, and with those we love.

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

+ David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska

 




From the Diocesan Archives

Diocesan Archivist Daria Safranova Simeonoff has posted part 1 from the travel journals of Hieromonk Anatolli in the late 1890's which gives a beautiful account of visiting Spruce Island.

Read the article here at the seminary website





Ancient Faith Radio

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