Fullest Possible Joy

Easter Message of the Presidium of the General Convent of the Hungarian Reformed Church

“Christianity is the religion of joy”, even against sadness and depression we are facing in these days. Bishops and Lay Presidents of the Hungarian Reformed Church sent out their Easter message to the congregations in seven countries embracing the joy that flows from the miracle of Christ’s death and resurrection.

„I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15,11

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

There are two very important seasons of preparation in the church year, whose date is fixed. Both of them last for respectively forty days. At the heart of the two periods, there is the event of Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The period of the first forty days is dedicated to retirement, inwardness, renunciation and silence. The Christian word, including us, the Reformed community is getting prepared to observe the feast of Christ’s death and resurrection with continual prayer, repentance and fasting.

The forty-day preparation period following Easter is equally important, as we embrace and experience the miracle of Easter, the all-pervading joy of the resurrection, the full joy that is the distinguishing mark of redeemed Christian people. Easter is the beginning and the starting point for the joy of Christians, since the gospel is the good news and Christianity is the religion of joy. This joy is not just any sensation of joyfulness, it is not identical with earthly happiness. Our joy is sorrow and sadness overcome in Christ and through Christ.

On this holy feast of Easter, God was pleased to put us at test by letting go everything that was part of the customs and practice of how we normally celebrate Easter. At this Easter, church bells invite us to sit in front of our televisions and screens, we do not receive the sacrament out of the hands of the pastor, and there are no festive greetings and handshakes. There is only one thing left; to embrace the redemption we gained in Christ and the joy of the Savior, which will be complete in us. This is how we can still be in community without actually gathering, this is how homes can turn to temples, and this how everyone who shares in the joy of Easter can come together and join in spirit.

Our new life in Christ, our mandate as apostles, which we received from Him, empowers us to experience and proclaim this joy, especially in these days, serving and praying for those who haven’t yet recognized the resurrected Christ and the joy of those who have been saved by Him. Keeping in mind and not forgetting the word of our Lord:

“Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16,24b)

The Presidium of the General Convent of the Hungarian Reformed Church is the representative and consulting Body of the reformed Churches in the Carpathian Basin. Its members are the acting leaderships (Bishops and Lay Presidents) of all the church districts of the joined Churches. It is mandated to coordinate the cooperation and to promote the unity in worship, church life and witness. The General Convent represents around 2,5 Million members of 7 reformed Churches organized in 11 Church Districts and living in 7 different countries.