Easter Message from Presbytery Co-Chairs 2017

Extracts of the following message appeared in the Canberra Times, 13 April 2017 – read here and Canberra Times, 15 April 2017 – Editorial – read here.

Easter is about dying to self. Jesus laid down his life that we may find new life in a grace-filled relationship with God. Easter also celebrates that grace-filled relationship with God, a gift freely given.

What does this mean to us individually? Looking to the needs of the other before oneself, being silent and reflective, rather than rushing to judgement of others, speaking up for the other in terms of justice, doing without so others may have a little more. This is the tip of the iceberg of course and the further one explores the depths of one’s life, particularly the dark corners, the more opportunity there is to explore grace through acts of justice and mercy however insignificant that act might seem to be. It won’t be insignificant to the receiver, friend or stranger.

Jesus did not hold with the establishment by and large as his was a life lived out for the other. We know he mixed and shared meals with the marginalized, the outcast, those in need of healing of mind, spirit and body, the women held to be of no account and he challenged those pursuing self-interest at the expense of those without power and influence.

He challenged the status quo. He was radical and fearless as well as gentle and understanding. He said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Nothing has changed. He is.

Should you find some quiet time this Easter we encourage you to explore the opportunities for grace-filled actions in your life. They will come to you should you seek them, no matter how small they might seem. Such are the seeds of a revolution at both a personal and community level and a revolution this country needs. Many live this life, some in the churches but most outside. Can you join this Easter in this revolution of grace? Are you up for it?

Vanessa Crimmins and John Williams
Canberra Region Presbytery
Uniting Church in Australia
11 April 2017

“Easter” image from UCA Queensland Synod