Joint Easter message of the Bishops and Chief Elders of the General Convent of the Hungarian Reformed Church in the Carpathian Basin to the congregations living in Hungary and the neighboring countries, and to the worldwide Christian community.
„... Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19)
With the words of Charlotte Elliott's well-known hymn (Just as I Am), there are "fightings without"; struggle with the pandemic, financial decline, illness and death; and "fears within"; hopelessness, distrust, diminishing faith and growing indifference, and obviously impatience in more and more of us.
„Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses ...” – lamented Jeremiah the fate of his people (Jer 9:21), like in this time more and more of us are mourning our loved ones.
Yet, we are preparing for Easter, we want to celebrate the victory of Christ over death. Meanwhile, we are asking if we will ever have a feast where we can put aside our worries, difficulties, the troubles of the world around us, and we can lightheartedly rejoyce in the fellowship, our family, the renewal of nature, the reverence of the church, the sacrament of Holy Communion uniting us with God and with one another?
Let’s not put aside, let’s not forget what the burden of our life is, the problem of the world, but take it to God! Let’s wait for and celebrate the holiday in such a way that while we pray to God and cast upon Him all our troubles, questions, request, allow Him to reshape our thoughts, give strength to our discouraged souls, renew our lives! There wasn’t much hope and strength in Jesus’ first disciples Peter, John and Thomas, and the women rushing to the tomb of the dead Christ, either. In their personal inner struggle, they did not find the life-saving answer themselves, but received it as a gift from God. This Easter mystery as a life-giving gift was slowly revealed to them. They didn’t roll the “big stone” of the cemetery tomb. The encounters that carried on their lives were not prepared by them, but by the risen Lord Himself. The closed doors could open and they could breathe again, experiencing the good news of the gospel. It took time for the good news to reach all twelve of the apostles, to meet life again and say: not only he is alive, but we are alive too.
Photo: Ivola Bazánth
Faith and trust that their Master at the time had awakened in them was enough to bring new life into that world full of hopelessness and false hope. This personal but at the same time shared experience and belief was not silenced but shared. Their own faith and hope were made a public treasure. Even after two thousand years, we live from this, we can be nurtured by this.
And just as they passed on the good news: “Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!”, we can encourage and strengthen each other in time of Easter in 2021. Even though many doors have remained closed, heartfelt and desired encounters can’t take place.
Let us bring the worship of the church into our homes! Let us create the time, the place, the right conditions to read the Good Friday and Easter Sunday gospels with our loved ones! Even if we cannot be present in the church in person, the means of telecommunication allow us to receive the preaching and pray together.
We cultivate and preserve the relationship within the Hungarian Reformed community on this holiday as well, as we are united and preserved by our common faith, culture and history personally, in our family, in the church, in our congregation, in our nation, and across borders. See you again soon!
We pray this Easter for those who are now counting their losses, waiting for consolation. We pray for those who work hard in healing and caretaking, maintaining order of life, and saving lives. We express our gratitude together with those who have been recovered and healed. Together we will place our trust in the risen Lord, who promised,
"…because I live, you also will live."
We wish you a blessed Easter!
Bishop Zoltán Balog and Chief Elder Sándor Veres
Danubian Reformed Church District, Hungary
Bishop József Steinbach and Chief Elder Dr. Pál Nemes
Transdanubian Reformed Church District, Hungary
Bishop Béla Kató and Chief Elder Zsolt Tőkés
Transylvanian Reformed Church District, Romania
Bishop Péter Szenn and Chief Elder József Kel
Reformed Christian Calvinist Church in Croatia
Bishop Sándor Fábián Zán and Chief Elder Béla Nagy
Transcarpathian Reformed Church, Ukraine
Bishop István Csűry and Chief Elder István Lajos Bara
Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District, Romania
Bishop Béla Halász and Chief Elder Károly Székely
Reformed Christian Church in Serbia
Bishop Róbert Géresi and Chief Elder Ferenc Porubán
Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia
Bishop Dániel Pásztor and Chief Elder Dr. Pál Molnár
Cistibiscan Reformed Church District, Hungary
Bishop Dr. Károly Fekete and Chief Rector János Molnár
Trans-Tisza Reformed Diocese