“In the Easter Story, we hear of the hope and transformation that comes from following Jesus, as well as the courage this inspires,” says Dr Deidre Palmer in her 2021 Easter message. Deidre is President of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Dr Palmer has used her annual Easter video to highlight the courageous women in the Easter story and those speaking out against injustice today.
Just two weeks after tens of thousands of Australians gathered at Parliament House and in cities across the country for the March4Justice, Dr Palmer gives thanks in her Easter message to those raising their voices for gender equality.
Deidre recalls the women in the Easter story, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, who came to the tomb of Jesus while the other disciples were in hiding because they feared for the lives.
“It would have taken courage and deep love to come to that place to honour Jesus after his death,” said Dr Palmer.
“In the face of doubt and a society that discounted women’s voices, the women left that place and shared the good news with great joy.”
“The risen Christ inspires and empowers Christians today, to courageously advocate in the face of injustice: raising voices for gender equality, walking together with First Peoples and calling out for the healing of our planet”.
The Moderator in the SA UCA Synod, Mr Bronte Wilson has also issued an Easter message.
Easter is a time of hope, a time of new beginnings. As we approach Easter this year, our hearts go out to people, all over the world, who have been living in darkness and fear and uncertainty. And continue to do so. We think of people devastated by the global pandemic, physically, financially, emotionally and of those experiencing discrimination and disadvantage. We think of families living in situations of domestic violence and other forms of abuse and of those trying to rebuild lives and communities after natural disasters and events such as bushfires, droughts and floods. But as we approach Easter this year, we can also see, around us, situations of hope. As the rain arrives and the green shoots sprout on the ash-blackened trees, as community groups raise awareness of our biases and judgements, as we stand up for situations of injustice and oppression, as the Covid19 vaccine begins its uptake, there are signs of hope springing forth all around us. Easter is a time of hope. A time of new beginnings. Easter is also time of darkness and uncertainty, as we witness Jesus’ journey to the cross and the injustice of his death. But then, Easter brings the promise of new life, in resurrection power, as Jesus’ broken body, put to death on the cross, is transformed into a new creation. As is written in 2 Corinthians 5 if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! Easter brings the fulfilment of God’s promise of hope, of a new way of being. Easter brings the hope of reconnection and reconciliation, of all humanity to God, and to each other; the hope of reconciliation for all of creation. It is a time to leave behind the darkness and despair of the past. That doesn’t always mean our situations will dramatically improve. Natural disasters still occur, people still live with racism and oppression, inequality still exists, power still corrupts. But Easter brings a promise of a new way of being, a way of transforming these situations, in ways that we might never imagine; as the spirit of God works in our world, and in our midst. The spirit of God sustains and strengthens and empowers us both to live in these difficult situations of darkness and uncertainty, and to be transformed by them… so that we live out this hope and bring hope to others. Easter is a time of hope, a time of new beginnings. New beginnings and new opportunities.