Easter: a time of healing and renewal

Date: 28 March 2024

Cross at sunrise on Easter Sunday

An Easter message from Carlos Sanvee, Secretary General, World YMCA

Dear friends in the worldwide YMCA family,

In my local church in Geneva and in many churches all over the world, we meet before Dawn on Easter Day, remembering how ‘early in the morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb’ (John 20, 1).

So we begin our worship in darkness, and end it in the light. We watch the sun come up.

Some churches even begin by the light of a fire, onto which they throw branches, symbolically discarding their fears and their failings.

However it happens, it’s all about passing from the old to the new, from death to life.

For Christians, Easter is a time of renewal and new beginnings. For those experiencing the Northern Hemisphere Spring, it’s also a time of renewal in the awakening of the natural world.

The precursor to renewal is almost always healing.  Our world is in need of healing. Each and every one of us – in the YMCA and all over the world – is in need of healing.

Across the globe, we witness the scars of hurt: the hurts we inflict on each other, and on Mother Nature.

The increasing polarization within our societies – however it is justified – impacts us all. It disrupts our communal and environmental harmony.

Our Lord was crucified in and for a world that needed healing, and needs it still.

Easter is the ultimate beacon of hope. It reminds us that through the forgiveness offered by the unconditional sacrifice of Jesus, we are renewed. And we, in turn, are called to forgive.

Our global YMCA Movement, grounded in these principles, should continue to be a sanctuary for all, and a place where every individual feels welcomed, valued and loved, reflecting the unconditional and transformative love that we have all received.

It, too, must be a place of healing and renewal.

Dear friends, I pray for healing and renewal wherever it is needed this Easter-tide and this Spring-tide – in all our hearts, in all our communities, in all our YMCAs.