Video: Easter message from CEO Alastair Bateman

Video: Easter message from CEO Alastair Bateman

He is risen! Happy Easter! Church Mission Society CEO Alastair Bateman reflects on the power of God to transform our vulnerability and weakness. Because of Jesus, everything has changed!


Hello to you and Happy Easter! He is risen!

Last September I had a heart operation. I’m now in recovery and have been going to the gym regularly to help rebuild my muscle strength. This has been so encouraging – it feels wonderful to have a body that’s functioning as it was originally designed to, once again.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve come out of the experience with an even greater sense of mortality.

I was reminded of this again at the beginning of Lent during our Ash Wednesday service where we spoke the familiar words: “From dust you came and to dust you will return.”

Being dust is not a particularly fashionable message today, nor has it ever been.

The world often demands strength and certainty and confidence. To hear that we are dust sounds weak or even foolish.

We know from the Bible that the message of Christ crucified was perceived as foolishness too. Paul writes to the Corinthians: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

The Bible offers a persistent narrative of victory and strength through weakness. We see in the Bible that God uses people like Joseph, Ruth and David along with many others whose faith turned weakness into strength.

In one of CMS’s latest videos we meet someone else who has shown strength through vulnerability. Her name is Hellen and she lives in a refugee camp in Northern Uganda. She lost her dad through violent conflict in South Sudan and she fled to Uganda alone. She was understandably scared and had lost hope. Then things seemed to improve as she got married and had two children. But tragically her husband died of cancer and Hellen says she was traumatised and had suicidal thoughts.

I can’t imagine the suffering she has been through but through Bible stories that people like our local partner Sam Malish shared with her, along with counselling sessions, Hellen says her trauma has been healed and she was then able to help her neighbours who had suffered similar experiences too.

She says that she is now free from trauma and that it is Jesus who has done this. She says Jesus is the only one that can bring peace to her country and peace to our hearts.

As someone once said, the cross is the pivotal moment in history when everything changed. The evangelist Glen Scrivener says, “The gospel has transformed the world over these last two millennia. The movement was beginning… then lives were transformed… then communities… then cultures… then everything.” And this is what we long for at CMS.

So if we’re feeling weak this Easter we can draw inspiration from those around us and those that have gone before, and most of all we can continue to draw inspiration from Jesus.

As Philippians 2 says, “Being found in appearance as a man he [Jesus] humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.”

Jesus never gives up neither should we.

May we experience more inspiration than ever before this Easter for He Is Risen and that changes everything!

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