It is also, of course, the second week of the Easter season. At first glance, that combination seemed like a perverse irony: the joy of Easter juxtaposed with the horror of genocide. But on reflection, it is probably appropriate. Easter is a season of joy, but not a naïve joy that pretends all is right with the world as we know it. Rather Easter is all about the joy of the world as we believe it is coming to be, the world that God is forming in our midst, even when we can’t see it.
The good news of Easter begins with the bitter reality of crucifixion. And, when Jesus rises, he carries the wounds of the cross. But still, he rises. New life emerges where death appeared to reign. We take another halting step towards the dream that God has for our world.
And so perhaps it is appropriate that we remember the Armenian Genocide and all the other genocides of the 20th century in this season. We remember the mass of death. We can never forget. Those wounds will never entirely go away. And yet, we continue to hope for a better world and to work to make that hope come true.
On this day we remember with grief and shame, but without despair. On the contrary, we remember with hope and with determination. Thanks be to God.