Moderator’s Easter message 2012

Moderator’s Easter message 2012

In his 2012 Easter message, the Moderator of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, the Rev. Dr Brian Brown, denounces bloodletting in public life and the naked negativity and assassination of character that marks our governments.

He draws on the resurrection of Jesus in calling for a point of transformation, changing behaviour from a primary focus on “me and mine” to a commitment to the common good.


In purely human terms, the crucifixion of Jesus was the most shocking waste of the highest imaginable talent.

Here was someone who gave hope of a transformed life for a whole range of people, including those on the skids. Sadly, the high standing of Jesus with the general populace was such a threat to the religious and secular authorities of the day that they conspired to do away with him.

This poppy was far too tall for their liking!

One might have thought — given the amount of reflection that has surrounded the gospel story over the past 20 centuries — that by now we would have seen the folly of destroying the very people who hold out the most hope for a transformed and transforming society.

So why do we not value more highly the energy for good and courage for justice that can make all the difference to our communities? Why does the shocking waste continue?

Here in Australia the bloodletting is usually not literal; thank God. And yet so much of our public life is characterised by the clash of egos and struggles for power that drain the energy of otherwise good and talented people and threaten the fabric of our civilised society.

Our governments are a prime example. The naked negativity, the carping criticism, the assassination of character that now seems to pass for normal behaviour is a scourge both within and between parties that were actually elected to build a better, transformed society and to strive for the common good.

When did it become acceptable to assert that the primary task of an opposition is to destroy a government? When did we decide to permit governments to dismiss out of hand any contribution an opposition might make to the civic debate? This is not what most people want.

Are those who govern us aware that in the Uniting Church, and I am sure in other churches as well, we pray for them regularly, that they may be strengthened in their high calling and govern us well?

This does not include using authority to ride roughshod over others, or justify a dog-eat-dog approach to civic responsibility. Since when did this become acceptable, especially in a Parliament that begins its daily deliberations with the Lord’s Prayer?

At Easter, the Christian Church sees within the tragedy of Jesus’ crucifixion the dynamic of resurrection also. His death, though untimely and hideously wasteful from a human point of view, becomes the point of transformation for his followers as they continued to experience his living presence with them.

So where is the point of transformation for us and our society? What is going to make us learn to value one another and know that, in combining the best we all have to offer, a new way and a new world is possible?

When will we change our behaviour from a primary focus on “me and mine” to a commitment to the common good?

As Christians, we think that deep reflection on the life and teaching of Jesus has the power to make a significant difference to the way we understand what creative and compassionate communities are all about.

Join us this Easter as we seek new beginnings in our lives and in our society.


Uniting Church Easter eventscan be found here.

See Brian Brown’s fair trade chocolate video here.



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1 thought on “Moderator’s Easter message 2012”

  1. Brian
    A richly insightful message. Quite independent of your message my preparation for Good Friday has been along the waste of talent theme. We had the public Jesus for such a short time.

    But if Jesus had another 20 years would we have heard of him?

    May you and your family experience the fragile green shoot of Easter after the bushfire of Golgotha.

    My prayers are with you.

    Howard Packer

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