18 - 24 April
Reflections on Easter; church leaders respond to the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks and Notre Dame fire; and, in the lead-up to Anzac Day, an Anglican navy chaplain talks about life at sea and evangelism.
April 24 2019
Our proclamation of the hope which is ours in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ must be both confident and humble, writes Archbishop Justin Welby in his Easter letter to churches around the world. “In our complex and plural world our evangelism must not be forced on others, but as followers of Christ we have a duty to bear witness to our faith: to speak of hope for the world in the Resurrection of Christ, a message seasoned with gentleness and respect.”
In this increasingly materialistic age in which many believe only in what they can measure, the question of whether there is life after death is one we tend to defer. But the older we get, the more we are inclined to wonder about it.
This Easter – and this election – may we take more than a moment to turn our minds from superficial appeals to religious or national identity, personality politics and damaging partisanship towards something inherently more meaningful: the kind of Australia we’d like to create together, one guided by the principle that all people are equally worthy of sharing the prosperity, opportunity and human rights many of us take for granted. And may we vote – and perhaps even pray – accordingly.
The Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of Ceylon, Dhiloraj Canagasabey, has defiantly expressed his faith in God as terrorists attacked churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Day. Bishop Dhiloraj was just beginning the Prayer of Consecration during an Easter Eucharist service at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour in Colombo when the police arrived and warned him to leave. “You must come with us, they are about to come and kill you.” But he refused to move until he had finished the Prayer of Consecration. “If God gives me permission to live, I shall live. If he gives me permission to die, I shall die,” he told the Archbishop of Canterbury in a telephone call.
Where the Easter Day bombs in Sri Lanka were intended to blow people apart, people gathered in their aftermath to save others, writes Laurel Moffatt, a Fellow of the Centre for Public Christianity.
Andrew Hamilton says this Anzac Day, the nationalist values purported to be Australian and to have flowed like blood from Anzac Cove will not do. If in the celebration of Anzac Day this year, that means a smaller “a” and a larger “NZ”, so be it.
In the lead-up to Anzac Day, navy chaplain the Revd Kate Lord talks about life at sea and evangelism.
In the wake of the shocking fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Anglican leaders from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York (whose own cathedral was severely damaged by fire 35 years ago) to the Archdeacon of France in the Church of England’s Diocese of Europe have expressed solidarity with France.
The Church of England and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have made a joint submission to the Independent Review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, saying that in many places, “our Christian sisters and brothers face persecution of an intensity and extent unprecedented in many centuries”.
The former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, writes that the unleavened bread of Pesach (Passover) “the bread of affliction, but it is also the bread of freedom”. “When we eat it alone, we taste in it all the suffering of the human condition. But when we offer to share it, we can taste in it something else: the sense of a freer world that God has promised us we can create.”