An Easter message from Carlos Sanvee, Secretary General of the World Alliance of YMCAs
Easter Week, or Holy Week, is a very special version of ‘Every Week’: it is the joust of hope and despair (in my first language French, of espoir and désespoir) in which Hope – somehow – wins.
As an organisation founded in faith in 1844 which now in all its diversity embraces people of all faith, any faith and no faith, the global YMCA Movement always stops and reflects in Holy Week.
Easter is the time when Christians walk the way of the Cross and enter into the Passion of Christ: they journey with Jesus in the short-lived triumph of Palm Sunday, through Passover Week, to betrayal, trial, crucifixion, death, darkness – and resurrection.
For me as a Christian, Easter Day is a day which blazes with hope.
This year, I find myself connected again to the well-known 20th Century English hymn of German origin, ‘All my hope on God is founded’.
It reminds me that I am part of something far bigger and greater than myself. I cannot explain, any more than I can control. Yet I know that ‘All my hope on God is founded; He doth still my trust renew.’
Our faith does not take away our suffering and weakness. Loneliness and death are still our companions. But that is no failure: Christians believe that Jesus transforms our human condition in walking with us in the valley of death. The good news is that God is with us.
We live in a world of suffering: we always have; we always will. More than that, we are somehow agents in that world of suffering: all of us play some part in injustice, indignity and unkindness.
At Easter 2022, the world’s heart bleeds for the people of Ukraine, Ethiopia, Syria, Haiti and many more places beset by conflict. Since Easter 2020, our hearts have bled for those suffering in so many ways through the global pandemic that is Covid.
The global YMCA Movement is called to be a beacon of light and hope in this hurting world.
We affirm people in their own and in our own humanity, and in the hope of better things. Our Christian faith is grounded on hope: it’s the hope that life will always triumph over death, love over hate, peace over conflict.
In the YMCA, we try to be the living proof of the hope that inspires us.
We wish you all a happy, blessed and hope-ful Easter.