Easter message and church services

I KNOW there are people who think Christianity is boring and uninteresting or they believe they have no need for God in their lives. Maybe it is because they haven’t really taken the time to try to understand or know about the man named Jesus. Maybe they think that all Christians are “dags” who don’t know how to appreciate life and have fun.

I know many Christians who certainly know how to appreciate life and maintain a relationship with God and are not ashamed to praise his name. I find it a privilege to be one of those people. Anyone can claim to be the Son of God, but Jesus proved it by living a life that astonished the people who witnessed his ministry as he moved among them, doing the unimaginable.

Why do Christians celebrate Easter? If we have never known what has been written about the death of Jesus, we could be puzzled about this. In the Bible, we read that Jesus said “I am the truth”. We all want to know the truth, don’t we? Who is this man Jesus? Jesus had a human body, he was a carpenter and he got tired, he got hungry, he had emotions – he experienced anger, love and sadness. He carried out the most remarkable healings, and he showed love and compassion to the unlovable.

We all like evidence and there is so much evidence to support the claims he made. In fact, the early writers and the men who wrote the gospels in the Bible tell us so much about Jesus’ life. Jesus was indeed the Son of God and he came to give us the chance of eternal life. He died for sinners – you and me. Sadly, Jesus was tried and underwent a painful and humiliating ordeal in the hands of Roman soldiers.

He was whipped and he was made to carry his heavy cross to Calvary, the place of his execution. He had a crown of thorns placed on his head and he also carried the weight of our sins to the cross where he was nailed through the hands and feet. It is remarkable that when he was on the cross, he spoke to God and asked “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.”

However this story has a great ending because, although he died, three days later he rose again to give us a chance of eternal life. The only way to have this chance is to repent and to follow his teachings. If you would like to hear the story of the betrayal of Jesus, his crucifixion and glorious resurrection, there is a warm invitation to share with Christians at any of the local churches over Easter.

May God bless you and I pray that you will take time to remember the great sacrifice that has been made for us all so that we have the hope of eternity. God is so good. Blessings to you.

Reverend Celia Hooker,
St Matthew’s Anglican Church,
New Norfolk

Easter church services

Holy Thursday, March 28:
Mass of the Lord’s Supper, St Peter’s Church, New Norfolk, 7pm. Good Friday, March 29: St Andrew’s Church, Bothwell, 10am; St Peter’s, New Norfolk, 3pm.
Saturday Easter Vigil, March 30: St Peter’s Church, New Norfolk, 6pm.
Easter Sunday, March 31: St Andrew’s Church, Bothwell, 10am; St Colman’s Church, Ellendale, 11.30am. No mass at New Norfolk.

Maundy Thursday, March 28:
Meal in the St Matthew’s Church hall, New Norfolk, followed by Holy Communion around the table. No charge but bookings essential: 0409 142 872.
Good Friday, March 29: 10am services at St Matthew’s, New Norfolk, and St Peter’s, Hamilton.
Easter Sunday, March 31: 10am services at St Matthew’s, New Norfolk, and St John the Baptist, Ouse.

Good Friday, March 29:
10.45am gathering outside The Close (Quilted Teapot), Bathurst St, New Norfolk. 3pm: Easter Reflection performed by St Matthew’s Singers including choral works from Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St John Passion. Entry by donation to Church Restoration Appeal.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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