Easter Message 2018: Rev Keith Garner
Easter is a time of regeneration, renewal and hope.
It is the most significant time on the calendar for Christian people. However, it makes all of us stop and take stock of our lives.
Just as a shell of an egg contains new life, so the empty tomb of Jesus Christ contains just that; emptiness which tells of One who has broken free of all that fear and death represents. As a result, our world is changed forever.
The resurrection shows how Jesus Christ has overcome death—not only by conquering all the power that brought it about, but by reversing all those things in our lives that take us captive and make us feel despondent.
Sadness and fear need no longer destroy people and every negative situation is capable of being turned around to something creative and positive. It is a message of profound hope. And it is part of the reality of the work we do each day at Wesley Mission among people experiencing mental health issues, loneliness, isolation, disadvantage and poverty.
While it’s true that fear and sadness appear to dominate people’s lives, there is still a power that can liberate. Our message of freedom for the world begins as we share the experience of the women who found the tomb empty on Easter Sunday and join with them in acknowledging this joy.
If your life is made up of sadness and fear, there is good news at Easter—Jesus Christ has forever been raised from the dead.
It is a message that God cares for all people, especially you. It is also a reality with other implications for each of us. At a time when more and more people in our affluent nation are experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, rising inequality and family breakdown, we are reminded that the risen power of Jesus Christ is able to change lives if we let him.
He is not just the founder of a religion: Jesus Christ is a living presence who is with us each day as we live out his love and compassion.
In the often recorded song 'At a distance', you might be led to believe that God is watching us from a distance in an isolated way.
Jesus Christ, however, is not the remote God who is detached from our lives but a living presence who is with us day by day. This reality has life changing potential if we take hold of it.
It inspires people to know that they are of value and it reassures others that they are not alone. Easter gives confidence that we also can make a real and compassionate response to the social problems around us and the resilience to meet life’s complex challenges even in our darkest hours.
Jesus Christ offers his hope to us this Easter—reaching out to us no matter what our circumstances. Here is true love, compassion and friendship that is lasting and unconditional.
Jesus Christ asks us to trust him. He does not protect us from this world’s pain, but he does share it with us and promises eternal life. Let us take into our lives His promises this Easter.