Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ
From the Bishop: Easter 2017

April 16th, 2017


Easter 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ –

The story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the essential tale of the Christian faith. All of sacred history, both before and after the cross and the tomb, derives its ultimate meaning from the events we remember and celebrate during this Easter season. We have no greater story to tell than the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We have no more important teaching to pass along … and no more hopeful news to share.

In his death, Jesus fully embodies the radical demands of the faith that he brought to his first followers and that we share in to this day. This is what “care for your neighbor,” “give to everyone who asks,” and “love your enemies” actually looks like in the midst of the fallen creation of which we’re a part. In going to the cross, Jesus demonstrates the depth of his love for humankind and offers a witness to the kind of love to which we too are called as children of the living God.

In his resurrection, Jesus offers the complimentary piece to his sacrifice on the cross. If the cross was the last word on “love your enemies” and “pray for those who persecute you”, then Jesus’ life and teaching would not matter to us. He would rather have been just another example of the weak being exploited and destroyed by the strong. But the events of Holy Week and Easter turn our conventional wisdom about power all upside down, as Jesus destroys the forces of darkness precisely by embracing death and using it as a tool for nothing less than the salvation of the world. Jesus’ resurrection confirms his teachings about how to live, ratifies theories about how to love, and fulfills his prophecies about his own destiny and that of all humankind.

Over the great fifty days of Easter the Church throughout the world will continuously celebrate the “sacred mysteries” of Christ’s death and his resurrection from the dead. We will tell this story again and again and again, because even though we know it well, we can never fully comprehend it’s meaning for our lives, the life of the Church, or the life of the world in which we live.

I pray that you will all join with me, my brothers and sisters, in proclaiming the surprising, joyful and still astonishing news that we’re blessed to be able to share in this and every season of our lives: Christ is Risen! Alleluia!


Faithfully Yours in Christ –

+ Bishop Barker

Be sure to like us on Facebook, to see even more:

Latest Update

Dominican Republic Mission – Pizza Ranch Fundraiser (4/28/2017)

WHO: You are invited to support the 2017 Nebraska Youth DR Mission Team, and enjoy the better things in life…pizza, chicken, and ice cream!!! WHAT: Our DR Youth Mission Team has been selected to participate in the Pizza Ranch Community Impact Program. This program acknowledges groups which make a.... Read Full Article


Recent Updates

(See Index/Archive at the top right of this page for all articles.)

The Eggplant – The Fast and the Fictive (4/28/2017)

The Eggplant: April 27, 2017 The Fast and the Fictive When I was in Seminary, one of my classmates would joke that, if she were not called to be a priest, she would spend her time painting supper scenes from the Fast and the Furious movies, under the name Dom Tintoretto. Most of the time, […] Read Full Article

Prayer Vigil for the Climate – Saturday April 29th (4/28/2017)

Bishop Scott Barker, Archdeacon Betsy Blake Bennett, and Brother James Dowd invite the Diocese to join us in a vigil of prayer for the climate. On Saturday, April 29th, people will be marching in Washington, DC and in cities across the country to advocate for stronger policies to address climate.... Read Full Article

From the Bishop: Easter 2017 (4/16/2017)

  Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ – The story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the essential tale of the Christian faith. All of sacred history, both before and after the cross and the tomb, derives its ultimate meaning from the events we remember and celebrate during this Easter.... Read Full Article

Featured Sermon: Good Friday – Archdeacon Betsy Blake Bennett (4/15/2017)

Good Friday, 2017 Passion Gospel John 18:1-19:37 Pilate asked them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but the emperor.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. (John 19:15b-16a). In a few minutes we will pray the Solemn Collects for Good.... Read Full Article

Welcome Rev. Amanda Gott, Rector at St. Matthew’s, Lincoln! (4/7/2017)

DioNEB welcomes Rev. Amanda Gott as the new Rector at St. Matthew’s, Lincoln. Here is a brief introduction from our newest priest: I just moved to Lincoln from the New Haven, Connecticut area with my husband Steven, our eight-year-old daughter, three-year-old son, two cats, two guinea pigs and.... Read Full Article

Environmental Stewardship – Praying the Earth’s News: March 23, 2017 (3/24/2017)

We pray this week for people affected by floods and fires that have been made worse by warmer global temperatures, and we pray for our planet and the future of the human race as warming takes us into “uncharted territory”. Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth you made us.... Read Full Article

The Eggplant: March 23, 2017 – Spoiler Alert (3/24/2017)

  *Spoiler Alert: The following Eggplant contains spoilers for Kong: Skull Island (2017), Godzilla (2014), the Revelation to John of Patmos (~95), the good movies of M. Night Shyamalan (1999 and 2000), and Holy Week (~33). For those who don’t spend time in the geekier corners of the internet,.... Read Full Article

In memoriam: Jon W. Nelson (3/19/2017)

Former Diocesan Stewardship director Jon Nelson died recently in Estes Park where he and his wife Bev had lived for a number of years and where their son Tory owns and manages a restaurant.  In his shirt pocket in the days before he died, the prayer list he kept literally at his side.   Jon.... Read Full Article

The Prayer of St. Patrick (3/15/2017)

The Prayer of Saint Patrick I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through a belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation. I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism, Through the strength of His.... Read Full Article

Poetry Corner: To Keep a True Lent – Robert Herrick (3/8/2017)

To Keep a True Lent Is this a Fast, to keep The Larder lean? And clean From fat of veals and sheep? Is it to quit the dish Of flesh, yet still To fill The platter high with fish? Is it to fast an hour, Or ragg’d go, Or show A down-cast look and sour? […] Read Full Article

Greetings from Sandra Squires, United Thank Offering Board President (3/3/2017)

It is that time of year when many of you prepare for your parish UTO In-gatherings, and I thank you for that. The images to the left give you some ideas about how people have promoted UTO. It is with gratitude and sadness that I share with you that Kathy Graham has resigned from the […] Read Full Article

From the Bishop: Lent 2017 (3/1/2017)

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through.... Read Full Article

The Eggplant: Lend Me Your Ears (2/27/2017)

The Eggplant: February 23, 2017 – Lend Me Your Ears   When I was in Seminary, one of the lessons repeated in many classes and contexts was that to be a good pastor is to be a good listener. As a priest, both members of your parish and others will often tell you about things going.... Read Full Article

Five Marks of Love – Free Lenten Offering from SSJE (2/20/2017)

The Society of St. John the Evangelist, an Episcopal monastic community, is offering “Five Marks of Love” as a free individual or group Lenten devotional. Below is their invitation, including a link to the materials:   This six-week series invites us to observe and reflect on the.... Read Full Article

Ask a Priest – What is the “Prosperity Gospel?” (2/14/2017)

  The basic idea of the Prosperity Gospel is found in scripture: “If you follow in my ways, I will prosper you.” For example, in the Book of 1 Kings 3:14, God says to Solomon in a dream, “if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father.... Read Full Article

(See Index/Archive at the top right of this page for all articles.)

Print Friendly