Dear Friends in Christ,
Easter is first of all and best of all a celebration of God’s love and grace. It offers us the opportunity to engage once again with the fundamentals of our faith. In John’s Gospel, we are given an extended reflection on the final hours that Jesus spent with his disciples. During that very personal time, Jesus prepared the disciples for his death on the cross. He took a basin and towel and washed their feet, so establishing for all time the nature of servant ministry and the basis upon which people are to relate to each other in the life of the Kingdom. He promised them his continuing presence through the Holy Spirit and spoke to them of his gift of peace, a reality they could know in their hearts even when the world around them seemed to be falling apart. And he prayed for his friends, committing them to God, and asking that they might know the same unity amongst themselves as he enjoyed with the Father.
We come to our celebration of Easter conscious of the devastation and heartache resulting from Cyclone Larry; aware of the continuing crisis in Iraq and the threat of a confrontation with Iran over nuclear weapons; deeply concerned to hear of yet another drought in parts of Africa with the accompanying possibility of widespread famine; alarmed by events unfolding in West Papua and the oppression of the people in that country by the Indonesian army. We must not be indifferent or uncaring in regard to such events. We can always pray, and we can contribute in other ways as there is opportunity. In responding to the needs and circumstances of others we become identified with Christ in the life of the world, as he chose to identify completely with us through his life, death and resurrection.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said: “God’s purposes are certain. God’s intention to establish his Kingdom of justice, of love, of compassion, will not be thwarted.” Our faith and hope are grounded in Christ, who assures us: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” (John 15:9) Let us celebrate Easter with that depth of confidence and faith.
Grace and peace
REV DR DAVID PITMAN
Read the Easter message from President of the Uniting Church in Australia Rev Dr Dean Drayton here
Photo : Queensland Synod moderator Rev Dr David Pitman