Easter morning

(This post is by Fiona)

Easter Morning

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Tired, drawn, tear stained faces
tread sadly the predawn path
heavy stone
heavy hearts
grief

Confusion
flickering fear
hope
he’s not here
has he risen?

Faces turn toward the risen son
tears dried
fresh breath inspired
new life
hope
joy
he’s not here
HE IS RISEN
Christ, Saviour, King

Go quickly
feet running swiftly
tell the others
hope
he’s not dead
HE IS RISEN

Go
tell the good news
of salvation
to the disciples
to your neighbours, friends
to the sad, lonely, outcast, hopeless
to the world,
on swift, beautiful feet

Go
Tell the good news
HE IS RISEN
sins forgiven
death defeated
Jesus is King.
HOPE
JOY
LIFE

He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
(Isaiah 25:8)

My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.
(Isaiah 26:19)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die
(John 11:25)

Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
(Romans 8:34)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. 
(1 Peter 1:3-4)

Easter exhaustion

(This post is by Fiona)

It’s Good Friday morning

Pastors are exhausted trying to make the technology work so that church can go ahead.

Wives are exhausted trying to support husbands, while also trying to make technology and life work for them, their friends, their kids, their neighbours…

Mums are exhausted from home-schooling in the midst of already busy lives, and now there’s all the holidays to fill.

Those with work are exhausted by all the craziness, dealing with anxious people, dealing with angry and frustrated customers, dealing with the extra stresses, demands and worries in the workplace.

Kids are exhausted from cranky mums, stressed dads, quarrelling siblings, who want what they have, who destroy what they’ve built, who…

Mums and dads are exhausted from trying to hold it all together when they’re not sure why it’s happening, when it will end, and the overwhelming fear of sickness, and even death.

People are exhausted as they try to stretch finances, adjust budgets, apply for payments.

Lonely people are even more lonely and isolated (though some are discovering the generosity of others).

The elderly are exhausted from their fears. This virus seems to be targeting them. They feel a burden on others.

The news from overseas is overwhelming. The numbers beyond comprehension, too awful to comprehend.

Governments are beginning to play the blame game.

There seems to be sharing of resources, but at a price.

The news from home is full of complaints and blame and accusations. What about me?

It’s full of pleas for people to be sensible — just not me, not on my holidays.

Police are exhausted, and frustrated, and angry at the carelessness of people.

Health care workers are exhausted from the anxiety of what might be coming, of resources already used up, of people who cough on them…

It’s Good Friday morning

The disciples are exhausted. They couldn’t stay awake to pray. Their sleep in the garden was fitful.

Jesus looks exhausted. Praying, sweating, agonising all night.

But now there’s calmness and purposefulness in his face as he rouses the disciples once more.

Judas has figured out how to stretch his budget. The coins jingle in his pocket as he leads the soldiers and kisses Jesus on the cheek.

The hastily-convened court is chaotic, noisy, disordered. Accusations fly. Blame is pointed. Frustration and anger boil over. Clever plotting by the manipulative ones seems to sway the crowd. Someone has to pay to save their way of life, their rule.

Peter is devastated and deeply ashamed by his betrayal. But what else could he do? He didn’t want to stand where Jesus did. He could smell the anger and bloodlust. He was sickened by the smell of his own fear.

Pilate is exhausted by this rabble of Jewish religious rulers. Why can’t they just sort things out themselves and leave him alone?

The rabble are frenzied, whipped into fury. Someone will pay.

The soldiers are exhausted. It’s another rotten day in this forsaken Roman outpost. They’d rather be at home with their families.

They may as well have some fun. Whipping, spitting, cursing, mocking. At least there’s his clothing to divide.

Jesus is exhausted.

Simon of Cyrene is co-opted to bear the burden. “What did I do to deserve this? In the wrong place at wrong time. Poor bugger, he looks done in. God, I hope they don’t crucify me as well!”

Spitting, jeering, laughing, mocking, scorning, pushing, shoving.

The women are exhausted from their mourning.

Jesus is exhausted.

God had abandoned him.

Isolated.

Alone.

Struggling to breathe.

Still thinking of others. “John, take care of my mother.” “Father forgive them.” “Today, you’ll be with me in paradise.”

Exhausted, alone, abandoned, dead.

It’s Good Friday morning

I’m exhausted, but thankful. Profoundly thankful for a Saviour who understands me, cares for me, loves me.

Thank you Lord Jesus for shedding your blood for me.

We do not have a saviour who is unable to sympathise with our weakness. We have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.

He himself, bore our sins in his body, on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness.

Enter the throne room with confidence to receive mercy and to find grace to help us in our time of need.

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he knows and cares for you.

Let’s stop going to church

CrowdGoing to church

Is it like…

Going to school
Going to hospital
Going to the beach

Going to the movies
Going to the markets
Or going to the football

No

Church is not a building
Church is not an institution
Church is not a spectator sport
Church is not a compulsory ritual
Church is not a task to be completed
Church is a gathering of people who belong to God

Let’s stop going to church and start being the church

Surf

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The sea was sparkling,
the water was cool,
the surf was a good size.

I took off on a wave,
felt it pushing me forward,
and rode it to the beach.

My lungs were working hard,
sucking in every breath,
it was exhilarating!

Ride after ride,
heaving hard,
gasping for every breath.

Two years since I’d caught a wave,
last year I barely got wet,
and now I’m body surfing!

Simple things,
swimming and surfing,
smiling with joy.

I felt like I’d been given my life back.

Thank you God!

Christmas at Burrill

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Christmas is different here at the beach
Nature’s chorus has so much to teach
For God made it all for every and each
To showcase his glorious ways

The ocean is rolling in with a roar
Waves are crashing onto the shore
God’s power and strength we were made to adore
As we celebrate Christmas day

Rosellas screech and call and sing
Kookaburras laughing at everything
They’re caroling praises to the King
To the God who became a boy

The wind dances over the trees
Branches gently sway in the breeze
Dappled light sneaks through the limbs and the leaves
Christmas, God’s gift to enjoy