The Bishop of Dudley’s Easter message 2017:

After three years of painstaking work Leonardo DaVinci completed his vision of the Last Supper and showed the completed painting to a trusted friend.

“Give me your honest opinion,” said DaVinci.

“It’s wonderful”’ said his friend. “In fact, that cup is so real I can’t keep my eyes off it.”

Immediately, DaVinci took a brush and painted out the glow on the sparkling cup.

The friend looked puzzled and asked, “Why have you done that? The cup was beautiful.”

“Because,” said the great artist, “it’s distracting you from looking at Jesus.”

Easter draws us to see Jesus afresh.

Jesus’ love, goodness, generosity and life continually say something to me. His rising from the dead on the first Easter Sunday was, and continues to be, a bold declaration of the triumph of love over hatred, good over evil, generosity over meanness, life over death.

Where hatred divides us one from another, Jesus says come and see a different way.

Where evil brings murder to our own streets or maims innocent Syrians, Jesus says human life is precious.

Where meanness fills thoughts about refugees, Jesus says welcome the stranger.

Where death holds us captive to a past long gone, Jesus says I have come to give you life and life in abundance.

The picture of the DaVinci’s Last Supper is a picture of a community of people sharing life in abundance with Jesus through friendship, food and faith.

I pray that whatever you are doing to mark Easter you will find love and goodness, generosity and life in abundance through friendship, food and faith. That way you will experience something of the risen Jesus always with us.

Happy Easter!

Bishop Graham