his Easter Message, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Connor, the
Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, says that Easter is about Christian hope,
which will help us believe that God's love and mercy will
The Bishop said: 'It has been my experience in parish ministry
that the Christmas celebrations in church attract many more
people than the Easter celebrations. As I have reflected on this
I think part of the reason is that Easter is a more difficult
message. A tiny vulnerable child is something we all can relate
to and a child is never a threat to us. Easter faces the
ultimate destination that we find difficult to talk about. Death
is the subject of Easter as we cannot celebrate the joy of
Easter Day without facing the emptiness and pain of Good Friday.
Death remains the one certain fact in the lives of each one of
Bishop Abernethy went on: 'Our celebration this Easter does not
mean that we will not be suffering sorrow and sadness next week.
However the great note of Easter is hope, this is Christian hope
that helps us believe that ultimately God's mercy and love will
conquer. Christ has shared our human experience, he suffered,
was crucified, died and was buried. The resurrection helps us
believe we worship a God who will have the last word and he has
given us hope by raising Jesus from the dead. That is something
to celebrate - a hope that is ours even in our human struggle'.