Easter message from the Rev. Dr Brian Brown
Uniting Church Moderator urges higher standards of justice this Easter
In his 2014 Easter message, the Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, the Rev. Dr Brian Brown, challenges us to open our hearts and rise with Christ to higher standards of justice and compassion.
As Easter once again draws near, the opportunities for superficial hope abound. The footy season is too young for anyone to completely write off their team’s chances of making the finals in September. The Easter Show and other recreational enticements offer the chance of short-term relief from the daily grind. Trade deals with Japan, Korea and China promise even more money in our pockets as the benefits trickle down over the next decade or so.
Yet, none of this justifies diverting our gaze from the deeper, more critical issues facing us as a nation. Our heartless treatment of refugees, and especially children, places us in a moral vacuum that no amount of Easter fun can obscure or fill. When the imperative is to do more about the urgent threat of Global Warming, how dare we settle for doing less?
When poverty still abounds in this wealthy nation, can we keep turning a deaf ear to prophetic appeals for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and others existing on the margins of our affluence?
Surely we are better than that! If the sacrificial compassion of Jesus for the vulnerable does not give us cause to honestly reflect on who we are, then Easter is simply a pagan feast where people pray and play in the absence of moral virtue.
Was Jesus’ death just wasted effort? Was his resurrection simply a panacea for our fears of our own eternal fate? Or do these mighty acts inspire us to likewise spend ourselves on the needs of others, and rise above the mire of greed, ignorance and self-interest? Can Easter change our hearts?
It is up to us to make something good out of Good Friday, and on Easter Sunday, rise with Christ to higher standards of justice and compassion.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all Australians a safe, happy and blessed Easter.
This video message is available for viewing and download at https://vimeo.com/92010674
For Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT Easter services, go to www.nsw.uca.org.au
Moderator, Rev. Dr Brian Brown