An Easter Message from Bishop Ken Carter
I believe in the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
In church, in a United Methodist Church, I learned these words of the Apostles’ Creed, and they express my Easter faith, our Easter faith.
I am Ken Carter and it is my honor to serve as the bishop of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.
As we approach Easter Sunday, many of our people remain in some kind of social isolation. Some are carrying the heavy burden of grief. Some are worshiping in their homes or apartments. Some are beginning to worship in familiar sanctuaries, yet this feels very different. We are at some distance from each other, and we are missing friends and neighbors.
And yet we approach Easter Sunday in faith, in hope, in love.
We have faith in the risen Lord, who is alive and among us in his body, the church.
We have hope in the reality of eternal life life that begins now, in the present and extends into infinity,
We have love for the God who makes all of this possible, we love because God first loved us and gave himself on the cross for us, and for our salvation.
My words have moved from “I” to “We”. That is natural. The New Testament was written to churches and communities of believers. Jesus appeared to individuals but also to gatherings. I have faith in the risen Lord. I express this through our connection, several hundred churches, all under the cross and the flame.
My experience of saying these words, “I believe in the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting” has always been in a church somewhere with friends and strangers surrounding me, hearing my own voice but hearing their voices as well.
My prayer for us, on this Easter when we are surrounded by so many deaths—thirty thousand Floridians have lost their lives to COVID this year—is that we will know we are surrounded by a chorus of faith, hope and love, an Easter chorus, and the strongest, clearest voice is from the throne of the God who dwells with us, who says,
"you will be my people and I will be your God,
he will wipe away every tear from their eyes,
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the former things have passed away,
and the One who is seated on the throne says,
“Behold, I make all things new.”