Easter Message – a grain of wheat that falls into the earth…

Date: 10 April 2020

This is the Holy Week; for those like me who observe the Christian faith, Easter symbolises Renewal, Hope, a rebirth, a renaissance and most of all a celebration of Life, victory of Life over death and destruction. One of our cherished YMCA traditions is sharing the Easter message with the movement to help keep our focus and link to the most fundamental component of our values and Faith: Hope and Renewal.

COVID 19 has affected our lives in ways we never imagined before. It has effortlessly transcended borders, geographies, race, gender, social and economic classes, religion, beliefs. It is a virus that has made us all equal in our vulnerability, reminding us of our common frailty as human beings. Whoever thought that weapons and means used by humanity to fight enemies and disease could in such a short time be rendered useless! For our survival has simply gone back to basic hygiene and how we relate to each other as human beings. Indeed, who could have imagined an Easter where Christians do not congregate to commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ?

Yet, in the midst of all this painful uncertainty and awakening, it is easy to get caught up in worry and anxiety trying to keep up with everything that is happening. There are already scholars and large consulting firms predicting life post-COVID 19. This is all good, however, allow me to make a personal invitation to us all this Easter;

… an invitation to pause for a while; to reflect and to sense what is really happening and about to happen…

You see, it is not always that things add up perfectly in life and not just in times like these, but many other times. Ponder this with me, a passage from the bible, “John 12: 24, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit”. This passage underscores how, the process of bearing fruit, to multiplying, to having an impact, does entail death…! This is a painful reality when translated to human life, yet one that might help put our minds at ease when applied to the current times.

That if we want to bear fruit, if we want to multiply, if we have to have impact… the old body, habits, patterns, familiarity have to “die” … As individuals, members and leaders of our great Movement we all want to bear fruit, to grow our organisation, to have an impact, to thrive and continue to be relevant to young people and our communities. Yet to achieve this, we have to be open and present to the fact of the renewal of death… Friends, we need to be alive to what it is we need to let ‘die’ and in the same reflection, what habits we need to let resurrect to get us to where we collectively strive to be.

A new us, a new YMCA, indeed a new world will emerge out of the current pain and uncertainty. A lesson that has been reinforced to me in these trying circumstances is the reality that our lives will no longer be about having or doing but about BEING…just being … and in BEING, finding comfort in the deep understanding that the bonds we share in the YMCA are stronger and deeper than the logo or even the words of our mission statement. They are bonds that remain unbroken even in times like these where death is a threat. Let this hope keep us going; that the collapse/dying of old ways and the emergence of new ones will only serve to multiply us, like a grain of wheat falls into the earth.

Blessed Easter Friends!
Carlos Madjri Sanvee