Rev Richard Keith
Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in NSW and ACT
My fellow Australians,
I want to thank you for your courage and patience. We have all experienced significant
disruptions. Some have lost your jobs. Some have lost loved ones. Many are caring for
children. All of us are worried about our family and friends.
In these difficult times, I’d like you to remember the message of Christmas, Good Friday and
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The son of God became the son of Mary. He
shared our life with all its joys and pain. He had extraordinary power but did not use it for
himself. He healed the sick. He ate and drank with sinners. Some people live their lives like a
train wreck, leaving chaos in their wake. When Jesus met people, he always left them better.
He is God with us.
On Good Friday we remember that the powerful rejected Jesus. He broke their rules. He
didn’t fit their mould. He threatened their world. They condemned him as a heretic and a
terrorist. They spat on him and laughed as he died. Even then, Jesus prayed for his
tormentors. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus gave his
life in the place of the abused in order to transform the abusers, to change us all.
At Easter we celebrate that God vindicated Jesus and made him Lord of all. He is Lord of my
success and suffering, of my work and rest, of my living and dying. In him and by his Spirit,
God’s love triumphs over hate, hope beats despair, faith transforms unbelief.
Even when we are on our own, we are not alone. God is with us. Whatever happens, our lives
are safe in him. While we have health and strength, let us love our neighbours.