Easter messages from CQ church leaders
EASTER time is a special time for many people. A time for family and for hope.
Three religious leaders from Central Queensland have shared their Easter messages with the region.
You can read their messages below.
Rev. David Baker, Uniting Church Rockhampton:
It has been a challenging start to 2019 for many across Queensland.
From flooding to the prolonged drought in the west, many come into Easter with a sense of loss and despair.
"Hope starts Here” is the 2019 Easter theme for the Queensland Synod.
Hope shapes our behaviour. It creates optimism and expectation.
This hope is not the selfish desire that our luck might improve or that the natural consequences of human behaviour might somehow not come to pass-but the expectation that God's grace will give us the courage to be faithful followers in our time and place.
The hope of the Lord is the abiding knowledge that through the resurrection of Christ we see the merciful, loving God who stands with us when we cannot stand alone.
Remember Mary Magdalene. She travelled to Jesus' tomb, blinded by her tears of grief and despair, expecting to find death.
And in this darkest of times, what Mary found instead was life.
She found a hope that sent her running back to share the good news.
Friends, continue to pray for those who suffer, for those who have lost their way.
And in all that you do, holdfast to the hope that starts here, at Easter.
Bishop Michael McCarthy, Catholic Diocese Rockhampton:
DEAR Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
From the beginning of the liturgy on Holy Saturday Night when all the natural light has faded, the prayers reminds us,
'May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our souls and minds.' And when the new Easter Candle is held high and the clear statement is made for all to hear, "The Light of Christ.”
The Easter liturgies invite us all to experience the life of God entwined with our own lives. This year, we carry a sadness in our hearts as we remember our church and our people who are in pain.
The liturgy of Good Friday poignantly invites us with Mary to the foot of the cross where we sit with her as she watched her own son die.
It is with Mary we all sit at the foot of the cross and feel the pain of all who have been abused and injured and isolated.
But the strong words of the liturgy shouts to us and reminds us that it is Christ who overcame death, who rises in glory, and it is only through Him that we too find healing for our pain and our loss.
We can invite him to include all within our church and our people so all may find the light of Christ.
In the yards of our churches around the fire, may the new Easter light of Christ's glory dispel the darkness of our souls and minds.
As we hear the words 'Christ our light', let us be sure in our hope that the Risen Christ walks with us through the year, bringing all of us healing; enabling us to reach out and include everyone within the circle of God's love, and find in us in our church, a welcoming and safe home.
May God's richest blessings be yours and your family's at Easter.
Bishop David Robinson, Rockhampton Anglican Church:
What is truth?
"What is truth?” was the question the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate put to Jesus.
This Easter we are in the midst of an election campaign, with claims and counter claims, promises from all sides of politics that many expect to be broken. We could well ask "what is truth?”
How do we define truth in a world of rapidly shifting values, where each individual's experience is truth for them and equally valid?
A couple of weeks ago, I attended an event where a Senator in our National Parliament commented about the desperate need for leadership in Australia. They spoke of the ways in which our society is changing; the undermining of values that shaped our communities and our nation. They expressed concern about where we might be heading, voicing the often unspoken concerns of many.
To be sure some values need challenging and some need to be changed, but what is truth? How do we decide which ones to keep and which ones to change when all truth claims are considered equally valid? How do we evaluate the claims and counter claims being made all around us today?
Jesus stood before the powers of his day, just as he stands before the powers of our own time, revealing a truth that is eternal. Love God, love others, put aside selfish greed, care for the less fortunate, the refugee, the outcast, all who are on the fringes of society. What is truth? The answer is not what we expect. Truth is serving God and not counting the cost.
I wish you all a very happy, holy and peace filled Easter.