21 March 2013
There is a real cry in our community for correcting social evils and inappropriate personal behaviour evident in recent sports betting excess, alcohol related violence, and the violation of human dignity and human rights that occurs every day.
Our community needs people of clear moral persuasion and political will to acknowledge our social sins and the factors contributing to them, who will take responsible action for reform.
At the same time, we each need to look at our own personal lives, and take the courage to change, get our lives right, and make a more positive difference in our world.
Are Australians tired of indifference? Easter platitudes present the danger of missing the shocking central message of Easter: everything depends on the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the humble carpenter’s son who is the Son of God.
The early church championed this radical message. Today we struggle to accept the need for rich words like “sin” and “repentance,” but look how alcohol abuse and problem gambling destroys people, families and communities. And then there is personal sin and accountability to God.
Who among us can “cast the first stone?” We are at a moral crossroads as individuals and as a nation. This Easter, I urge each of us to face up to our responsibilities.
The message of Easter is to people of faith, radically committed to the Christian way of forgiveness and new life through Jesus.
The message of Easter is also to the wider community, warning that if we continue to go our own way, without conviction to acknowledge the sins of our age, we will be diminished as a community and nation, and miss the blessings of what might have been.
The message of Easter challenges our indifference and our self-sufficiency by showing us what we lack and pointing to the risen Jesus as the answer to the urgent needs of our time.
The Rev Dr Ross Clifford AM is President of the NSW Council of Churches
Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678