In this year’s UCA Easter message, President Rev Sharon Hollis has invited three Uniting Church women ministers to reflect on what it means to have new life in Christ, sharing in their own languages.
The Uniting Church celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity as God’s gracious gift to the human family. On any Sunday, around 45 languages, 15 of which are languages of our First Peoples, are used across our congregations. The UCA continues on a journey to fully realise what it means to be a multicultural church, living faith and life cross-culturally.
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Rev Heeyoung Lim from Leighmoor Uniting Church reflects in Korean on the Easter journey moving from the empty tomb to receiving the risen Christ with hope in the new life God has promised.
“It also means a daily commitment to following Jesus, seeking and enlarging the kingdom of God in my life, being a Jesus’ disciple and making His disciples.”
Speaking in Indonesian, Rev Kharis Abadani, Mulgrave Uniting Church, says living in Christ means living with the transforming power of Christ and to see God’s work in us.
“Living in Christ means living in the power of Christ’s resurrection in our lives. It means that we can also experience resurrection in our own lives.”
Rev Juliette Maua’i, St Stephen’s Uniting Church Williamstown, recalls a famous Samoan saying, “O Uo i aso uma, ae Uso i aso vale”, which means “there will be friends for each day, but it will be siblings (or kinsfolk) in days of adversity”.
Speaking in Samoan, she says, “For me then, when I ponder in terms of the way of Christ, life in Christ, this Samoan proverb assures us that it is Christ with us in each day, and it is Christ assuredly in our days of adversity!”
The President’s message is a reminder that the gift of resurrection life is the hope that we have in the transforming power of Christ and the assurance of new life in our own lives and in our world.
Transcript of President’s Easter Message 2023
In the death and resurrection of Jesus is a call from God to new life in Christ.
It is a call from despair to hope, from evil to goodness, from sorrow to joy. Heeyoung speaks of the joy of life in Christ.
What Life in Christ means to me is rising and moving forward again from the hurting world, looking at the crucified and resurrected Lord.
It also means a daily commitment to following Jesus, seeking and enlarging the kingdom of God in my life, being a Jesus’ disciple and making His disciples, doing a beautiful thing to Jesus and others, taking my eyes off the empty tomb and placing them on the Lord, opening my heart to receive the risen Christ with hope in the new life God promised, constant pursuit of spiritual growth and transformation that God leads,and living my life in a way that honours and glorifies God.
We see this call in Mary Magdalene who goes to the tomb and finds it empty, weeping for all she has lost.
She speaks to the gardener who calls her name “Mary” and she is called from sorrow back to life by Jesus. Kharis speaks of the gift of resurrection life.
For me, living in Christ means living with the principles and teachings of Jesus, like the way Jesus reaches out and ministers to others.
Secondly, living in Christ also means living with the transforming power of Christ and to see God’s work in us.
Thirdly, living in Christ means living in the power of Christ’s resurrection in our lives. It means that we can also experience resurrection in our own lives.
This is good news for people who are lost for hope, those who are grieving for their future, for the loss of loved ones and the future of their relationships.
Juliet hears the assurance of Christ with us in a Samoan saying
There is a Samoan proverb that goes like this
“There will be friends for each day but it will be siblings (or kinsfolk) for the days of adversity.” For me then, when I ponder in terms of the Way of Christ,
Life in Christ, in terms of this Samoan proverb assures us that it is Christ with us in each day, and it is Christ assuredly in our days of adversity!
This Easter may you know life in Christ and may it bring you the blessings of joy, peace and hope. Happy Easter!
Blessings indeed this Easter!
Jesus is risen. Let us rejoice in the Lord together!