Messages of Hope

Easter Sunday: The highs and lows

Published / by Sandy

Christ is risen. Alleluia!
Our Easter Sunday services began with a sunrise service around a fire in the courtyard, so we could appreciate the gathering light of the new day. We celebrated the risen Christ in our other three morning services – in words, and when we shared the Eucharist, and with stirring and inspiring music. We were glad to celebrate together. These 4 services were followed by the Chinese Church (CSACC) and their Easter Day service. And then Stefan and a team of volunteers prepared and served a meal for the homeless and disadvantaged in the Pilgrim hall. (Expecting 200+).
We began our service with worship, and were sent out to continue our worship with service. And so grateful for freedom to be able to worship without fear.
And then, the news from Sri Lanka on Easter Day. Multiple bombings. Many have been killed, and hundreds suffered injury. Massive destruction. Horrifying.
Ordinary people simply celebrating Easter Sunday. Culturally and linguistically diverse people who are unified together as the body of Christ. ‘There is no them and us, only us’ (Jacinda Adern). The memory of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, with people attending Friday prayers, remain vivid in our hearts and minds.
These words from Rev Radhika Sukumar-White, Minister at Leichhardt Uniting Church, and Sri Lankan by heritage:
“This afternoon, churches in my mother country were blown up by suicide bombers. Many were killed. I don’t know what to say. “Thoughts and prayers” seems so shallow and simplistic. But I pledge to teach those in my pastoral care to practise resurrection – to practise love, grace, forgiveness and compassion over and against the tombs of violence, hate, vitriol and fear”.
Amen, Rhadika. And thank you for your gracious and faith-full leadership.

Statement from Dr Deidre Palmer, President, Uniting Church in Australia

And these words from Jon Humphries (heartfelt thanks for putting into words the unformed prayers of our hearts, Jon).
When will we stop blowing each other up?
When will we stop crucifying those
who challenge our belief or authority?
When will we stop hating others
with our judgement and moralizing?
When will we stop being intentionally ignorant
and deliberately biased to avoid understanding and compassion?
When will we stop procrastinating from taking action for peace?
When will we better walk your way of cross- filled sacrifice?
When will we let you challenge our religion
and stretch our belief?
When will we sacrifice our lives for you and your will
as you sacrificed yours for us?
Christ have mercy
Christ have mercy
Christ have mercy
Christ bring peace
Christ bring grace
Christ bring love. Amen.

More prayers for Sri Lanka here.

More prayers on the Pilgrim worship resources website.