Christ is Risen. This is the message of the Easter Story. The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures remind us of our tradition and the stories that give meaning to our day-to-day life. Shaken by the massacres at the two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March, I offer a question to ponder – What has brought us together? The pain for the Muslim community, which will leave a lifelong scar. Shock for us as a country, many of us thought that this could not happen here, we are too small.
Jesus’ death brings growth
Many in Jerusalem, Israel, may have thought that the death of Jesus could not happen in Jerusalem, but it did. Jesus’ death attempted to destroy his message and a small community, his family and followers. From such a dark time, that community grew and spread the message of hope and love. Let us embrace the Easter message and remember the deaths of the 50 people at prayer on 15 March in Christchurch. The challenge before us is to live what we believe ‘Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.’ John 13:34 (NRSV). A simple practice is to care for those around us, to recognise our common humanity and to love our neighbour.
Daily Bible reading
I encourage you to take a line of scripture each day and know that hidden in the story there is a message for each day. A good way to practice this is to take the daily reading and a few moments to reflect on it. Scripture helps us to make sense of today.
For example: Easter Sunday’s Psalm 118
- The stone which the builders rejected
- Has become the cornerstone.
- This is the work of the Lord,
- A marvel in our eyes.
Jesus was rejected by his society, Jerusalem, Israel. He was a nuisance to the political and religious system of his day. At the time of Jesus’ death, some may have said, “Good, now we can get on with our lives.” What happened was ripples of love and kindness that spread throughout the world and continue today.
The power of hope
The lives lost in Christchurch, have given us a cornerstone for our society to build on. The killings in Christchurch rippled worldwide. We heard the words of peace, hope and unity in speech, in song and most importantly expressed. We are experiencing the power of hope.
Sister Margaret Anne Mills
Sisters of Compassion, Island Bay