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NCCA President – 2023 Easter Message

Rev John Gilmore is the President of the National Council of Churches in Australia. This is his Easter message.

‘He is Risen’

Who has the final word? It is a powerful position to be in, to have the final say. It indicates that there is someone whose authority or view trumps all others and can close the conversation.

In life it often seems like the final word is disappointment, suffering and disillusionment. We live with the realities of disaster, racial and gender violence, war mongering, disempowerment through the actions of others and personal disappointment.  

International powerplays threaten peace and security while creating more and more refugees. At the same time the global economic complexity creates further anxiety and pressure at home. What can we say in the face of all these overwhelming realities?

We can say none of these have the final word. The Christian message at Easter is the final word; ‘life’. Jesus, God fully present, dies with no justice, torture, and cruelty. There is no compassion. Jesus is abandoned by the men who flee and attended to by the women who remain.

Three days later, the borrowed grave is empty, and the testimony of the women and men is a simple and wonderful statement, ‘He is Risen’.

Resurrection is the final word in Christian faith; Jesus lives. Two words and behind them a life transforming affirmation. The final word is life and resurrection. Bringing this perspective to our present realities may not alter them, however, it can change how we see and engage with them.

It is possible to ask, ‘what is the Resurrection perspective here?’ For example, in the clamour of opinions on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, as we make our referendum decision, we can ask how a Resurrection perspective guides us. Do we wait until the moment when every question is resolved – or do we look forward in gracious trust and with fervent hope?

Christians are Resurrection people – this is the final word, and it is one of life.

Rev John Gilmore, President

National Council of Churches in Australia

Click here for the NCCA Church Leaders Easter Messages