1 April, 2021
Easter Messages from local churches
Local church representatives have written messages of love, hope, celebration and faith for this Easter.
EASTER is a celebration of faith in risen Christ; that he reigns in glory; and that we have been promised a share in that glory, if we remain faithful to the end. We live in a world of secularism, materialism and egoism that is not quick to believe. The impact of such preoccupations does not lend many of us to belief in God. As a result, the spiritual values are now reasoned hopeless and out-dated and most of us live in isolation from our faith, distanced from Christ in our personal lives and reluctant to publically declare our faith. And also, many a times we are living in the midst of disrupted conditions, disastrous suffering, death and other unusual challenges in our life especially affected by the pandemic of the virus; all these difficult and agonizing experiences can bring us closer to God or distance us from God.
So, it is quite important to emphasize the importance of Easter, the resurrection of Jesus to our present life in this world. If we are looking for answers to all of life’s questions, Jesus has all the answers, and his answers are all proven true and ratified by his resurrection. The empty tomb reminds us that nothing is final in this life, not even sufferings and death because God’s love is much stronger than any human power and it conquers everything. If Jesus is resurrected, then we too will be resurrected. The resurrection of Jesus tells us that there is heaven we can look forward to and the event reminds us not to stay being imprisoned within ourselves and not to be discouraged by our past; but to break and open our sealed tombs to the Lord like Peter and Mary Magdalene. After having found the risen Lord, they were sent out by him to announce the Easter message to those who were struggling to find meaning in life.
Happy and peace-filled Easter to all!
Fr Shaiju Lookose CMI
St. Brigid’s Catholic Parish, Longreach.
This Easter, take time to reflect on God
HAVE you ever looked at the similarity between The Lords Prayer as found in Matthew 6 and the prayer Jesus prays in the garden of Gethsemane just before he is crucified? There are some strong similarities. I think what we know as The Lords Prayer was a framework that Jesus gave his followers to remind them of who they were praying to, so their focus was drawn to him, rather than what they were praying for. Here is my breakdown of who God is to me:
My Father (“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”): He is intimate, present, personal, holy, and trustworthy.
My King (“your kingdom come, your will be done earth on as it is in heaven”): A king who holds authority, bestows authority and whose rule we desire to break into the world: for truth, justice, peace, love, reconciliation, the spread of the good news.
My Provider (“Give us today our daily bread”): We are dependent on him. What every power, influence, resources we have, we have been given from him.
My Forgiver (“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”): We need forgiveness, His forgiveness of us leads us to forgive others.
My Protector (“And lead us not into temptation”): We are all born selfish, and our selfishness is a temptation to put ourselves ahead of others and even God. God protects me from my selfishness.
My Deliverer (“but deliver us from evil”) He has, and he will continue to deliver us. Not always in the way we want.
Which of these aspects do you see/experience God as? Which do you struggle with?
When Jesus died and the temple curtain was torn in two, it signified that we all can have a personal relationship with God. You can know and experience God in all these six areas above and as you do you will find all your deepest needs met.
This Easter, spend some time reflecting on who God is and get to know him more. The easiest way to do this is through prayer and reading The Bible.
I recommend having a good slow read through Hebrews 10:16-25.
Pastor Steven Ballin
Longreach Baptist Church
Who is the man at the heart of easter?
FOR many people, he is no one. The Easter Bunny is more important.
But for Christians, this person is the mainstay of their faith.
He was born fully human, grew up in a home with parents, learning the trade of his earthly father, a carpenter.
As he grew he learnt the lessons of any young man of the time, and eventually he began the ministry he was destined for. Healing, teaching, correcting the religion makers of the time – you can imagine what that did to his reputation with the authorities.
Till finally one day he rode into Jerusalem and was hailed as a King – but he rode a donkey, not a warhorse.
He was bullied by the soldiers – whipped, taunted and punished for no wrong; the leaders of the day connived and manipulated the rulers to the point where he was crucified.
But, much to the chagrin of the leaders who wanted him dead, he didn’t stay dead. He rose from the grave, he was resurrected. Why?
So that all of us human beings could be saved from our sin.
Who is this man- he is our Saviour, our redeemer, the Son of God – and most importantly our friend.
And these are things no Easter Bunny can do.
Get to know Jesus this Easter – find a church to attend. Take out a bible to read, or talk to a friend who is a Christian.
May you experience the blessings of God this Easter.
Rev Jenny Coombes
Three days that could change your world
THERE are three days that changed the world almost 2000 years ago and these days that have been changing the world of individuals ever since. The three days in question are the three days of Easter.
Firstly, there is Good Friday, when we celebrate the day on which an innocent man, named Jesus Christ, was put to death on a cruel roman cross. Why would we celebrate and call such a day good? Here is why I think it is a good day to celebrate. You see, when measured against God’s Law I find that I am a sinner and that accordingly, my condemnation is death. But in that same book, the Bible, I also find that the reason that God sent his son to die for me was to pay my sin debt. Now that is a good deal!
But it is the third day, Easter Sunday, that really seals the deal. It was the day that Jesus was raised from the dead. Hard to believe I know, but so many testify to having seen him alive again that we cannot reasonably doubt that it happened. Over the next 40 days no fewer than 500 people encountered the risen Christ.
But what is that to me?
If the one who died for our sins is alive and offering forgiveness of sins to all who believe in him, then I really do have someone in heaven to forgive my sins and save my soul from hell. So, I am extremely glad for what we celebrate at Easter because I know that though I do not deserve it, by simply trusting in my saviour I have escaped what I really deserve and received what I really don’t – forgiveness and everlasting life with him.
Trusting you all have a great Easter break and that you find him as the forgiver of your sins too.
Ps Steve Cavill
Outback Aerial Mission
ROMANS 8:28 says… “And we know that all things work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose”.
If we reflect on the greatest crimes ever committed in human history, surely we
cannot go past the crucifixion Jesus Christ. The trial, brutal torture and
crucifixion of Jesus the sinless Son of God some 2000 years ago was indeed a
heinous act of injustice.
But even out of this documented horrific moment of history, God turned it for
The ultimate fulfilment of the Romans 8:28 promise is that God turned the “Bad
Friday” of Jesus’ death on a cross, into “Good Friday” for all of humanity.
Good Friday as we now know it is the greatest display and demonstration of
kindness and love that the world has ever seen or known. The obvious darkness
of that day has been overturned and reversed to become a day of glorious light
and hope. Out of the tragedy comes the triumph!
Jesus said in John 8:12… “I am the Light of the World” No matter the darkness.
Jesus is greater!
This Easter, I want to remind you that God is still the one who can turn anything around if we trust and surrender to him.
No matter how sad, down, depressed, fearful or disappointed you are. God can
turn things for good!
I pray you would have ears to hear that Jesus loves you and is calling you into
relationship with him today.
Our Good Friday and Easter Sunday service are both on at 9.30am. Reach
Church is located at the end of Gull St near the racecourse. All are welcome!
Ps Ben Kent
There is hope, peace and love
OVER the past twelve months we have seen our world change dramatically.
Because of COVID-19, our everyday lives have truly become complicated with no assurance that they will ever return to the way we used to live before the pandemic. However, there is one thing that has never changed and that is the love Jesus Christ has for all of us. The Bible tells us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb 13:8)
Easter is the time for new beginnings and we celebrate how Jesus rose from the dead to bring a new and eternal life for every one of us. Because of his death and resurrection things like COVID-19 are nothing to us and despite whatever happens in this world, God is still sovereign.
Jesus’ death was not the end, when he rose from the dead it was the start to a new life for each and every one of us. Jesus’ resurrection is God’s promise to the world that there is hope available for all mankind who believe in Him.
Come and hear how Jesus’ resurrection from the grave can help you to find peace, hope, love and comfort in these and any other difficult and challenging times you might be facing.
Here at St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Longreach we would like to extend an open invitation to you and your family this Easter to come and celebrate with our congregation what Jesus did for all of us.
St Andrew’s Anglican Church