Reflections is the monthly newsletter of the Brookfield Uniting Church.
If you would like a copy, please email Edith McPhee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Following is the Minister’s Message from the April 2019 issue:
FROM the MINISTER’S DESK
‘He is not here. He is risen’
Five-year-old Brian had a pivotal verse to recite in an Easter program: “He is not here, he is risen” (Luke 24:6). Unfortunately, he could not remember what to say, and the director had to quietly remind him of his line. He then confidently grabbed the microphone and triumphantly shouted, “He’s not here; He’s in prison!”
No Brian, not quite. Try again: ‘He is not here; he is risen’
An old cathedral stood on the site of the present St Paul’s in London. It perished in the great fire of 1666. After the fire, the brilliant young architect Christopher Wren designed a new cathedral which took thirty-five years to erect. The first stone that Wren picked up from the ruins of the old building bore a Latin inscription whose meaning is ‘I shall rise again’
I’ve been doing some reading about Easter and the Resurrection, and I get
inspired when I read from significant figures of the past whose words live on, even today. Two of those are Dr Charles Malik and Rev John Whale
Dr Charles Malik was the Lebanese Ambassador to the United Nations and the United States, and was the significant influencer in the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.He was also noted as a theologian who successfully reached across confessional lines, appealing to his fellow Eastern Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Protestants alike.
‘What does Easter mean to You? Dr Malik was asked. His answer in part was this: ‘The Lord who took on our life had to die to give us His divine life. But death could not keep him, so he rose again on the third day. My deepest rejoicing is in the living Word of God assuring us of the victory of Jesus over death, for I know that the little child who was born in Bethlehem had to suffer before I could be saved……’
The distinguished theologian and Congregational preacher, Rev John Whale, made this powerful point: ‘The Gospels did not explain the resurrection, the resurrection explains the Gospels. Belief in the resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith, it is the Christian faith.’
That goes along with the anonymous ‘The resurrection did not result in a
committee with a chairman, but in a fellowship with an experience’
As we move from our period of preparation during Lent, let’s move confidently into Easter as a ‘fellowship with an experience’.
Grace and Peace