In Easter message, church body leader urges making a difference in the world

(Photo: Reuters / Max Rossi)A man walks next to a cross as he arrives to take part in the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) led by Pope Benedict XVI at the Colosseum in Rome April 6, 2007. REUTERS/Max Rossi

"Be a communion that makes a difference in a broken world."

That is the Good Friday and Easter message to members of the World Communion of Reformed Churches delivered by the Geneva-based organization's general secretary the Rev. Setri Nyomi on Thursday on behalf of his leadership and staff.

The WCRC is a network of 230 Protestant churches in 108 countries with a combined estimated membership of some 80 million people.

Rev. Nyomi greeted members of the community by noting how many are reflecting on Jesus Christ's suffering, death and resurrection and what it means amid difficulties many people around the world are experiencing.

"We do so at a time in which many of our communities are in touch with great suffering either on account of the effects of the economy or some other upheavals in the world," he said.

He referred to the importance of remembering that the full gift of God in the season was related both to the death of Jesus on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter morning.

"The freedom offered in Christ is not simply the triumph of Easter morning, but also the struggle of death on the cross," Nyomi said.

He said the season is a reminder that "our God is not simply distanced an apathetic to human suffering."

Below is an excerpt of his message:

"God is not simply the mysterious stranger who comes through a powerful show of force to bring freedom from suffering. God chose to identify with human suffering, and therefore knows what people go through – both the difficult challenges that people in all nations go through in their daily lives and the suffering that victims of violence, economic injustice and other sources of pain go through.

"Trusting in the crucified God, who identifies with us, we can, even in those times that we are in touch with the challenges of the broken world in which we live, rejoice that death does not have the last word – Our Lord Jesus Christ is risen indeed."

He added: "It is our hope that you take the opportunity that Good Friday–Easter time offers us to renew your response to God's calling – to be a communion that makes a difference in a broken world."

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