Recently I travelled to Jerusalem, the spiritual home of our faith. As one rabbi I met commented in reference to the disputes in the Middle East, ‘Welcome to the dysfunctional family of Abraham!’
I was troubled to find that even within the Christian family in Jerusalem, there are ongoing squabbles between various churches about control of the site associated with Christ’s death and resurrection.
So this Easter I would like to offer a special prayer for peace in the land so central to the Abrahamic faiths.
Around the world in recent months we have witnessed some shocking and tragic incidents of violence within faith communities, particularly in France and in the United States.
As Christ prayed for those who crucified him, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.”
I pray that this Easter each religion can be true to the message of peace that lies at the heart of each but which is tragically so often obscured.
I pray that the light and hope of Christ’s victory over death might bring light to every dark place, hope to all who currently journey through the valley of the shadow of death; and courage and strength and resilience to those who struggle for justice.
On behalf of the Uniting Church I wish all Australians a blessed Easter with their families and loved ones, and I ask you to pray for all who are suffering wherever they may be.
The Lord is risen. He is risen indeed.