Easter at South Rockhampton

From a toy rabbit playing Jesus in a Palm Sunday procession to a Holy Thursday “service of shadows”, to a sombre Good Friday and a joyful Easter Sunday the people of South Rockhampton Uniting reflected on and celebrated the relationship restoring work of Jesus.

At the beginning of Lent a small group gathered on Ash Wednesday to start on the preparation for Easter. During this period, we were all encouraged to pick up on Uniting World’s 7 days of Solidarity. Over $1,200 was raised from donations through envelopes. (Perhaps more online.) Holy Thursday had about a dozen gathering to celebrate communion around the table as the disciples did and then to hear the story of Thursday and Friday as candles were extinguished.

On Palm Sunday the congregation celebrated Jesus as King and also reflected on how he was rejected and died for us. We heard the story of “Dave the Donkey”, waved palm branches and sang “Make Way” as a procession walked around the church with Rev Andrew playing the Donkey and Suzie the toy Rabbit playing Jesus. Rev Andrew reflected on the Kingship of Jesus and asked “Who are you, in the Palm Sunday parade?” “Part of the Crowd deciding to follow ? Looking on with interest, or turning away from the one proclaimed as King? Are you the disciples, recognising Jesus as the promised King and yet not really understanding him? Are you like the pharisees concerned about the lack of discipline and the Roman reaction?” He concluded by asking: “The real question is will you keep looking on? Will you turn away? Or will you join in the parade, with the great crown of disciples and hail Jesus as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Will your lives reflect that humble mission?”

“Will you preach his peace, his reconciliation with your vote, your friendships, in your families, workplaces, in this community and in the schools? On the golf courses and in the boardrooms will you proclaim that he is King? Will you live out our congregation’s vision and be an active expression of God’s love? Will you join in the parade?”

Another story “Peter and the Rooster” was shared on Good Friday and the congregation heard the Story of Jesus’ death and burial from Luke’s Gospel. Rev Andrew defaced the Mona Lisa to make the point that when we hurt ourselves, each other and God’s creation we deface God’s artwork. We grieve God who loves us and the whole world. In Jesus’ life and death God shares the eternal relationship between Son, Father and Spirit with us and with all creation and so repairs and renews the artwork.

Easter Sunday saw a great celebration of new life. Deb shared an acrostic, HOPE: He Rose Overcoming death and Provided the way the truth and the life for Everyone. The congregation shared in communion and Rev Andrew shared how Peter’s life, and his own life had been transformed by the risen life of Jesus and how your lives can be transformed as well. The new life of Jesus transforms this old world and its people into “a whole new world”.

Follow these links to watch the messages From Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday from South Rockhampton Uniting.