Weekly Reflection • 12 Apr

Weekly Reflections

Good morning and how are we today? I am delighted that we can again come apart for a short time to pray, listen to God’s Word and share a reflection. It is such a joy to extend you a warm welcome whether you are joining us for the first time or a regular listener. It is always a pleasure to have you with us.

Over the weekend, we heard the sad news of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He devoted almost seven decades of loyal and dedicated service to Her Majesty the Queen, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Our sincere condolences to the Her Majesty the Queen and the whole royal family and pray for God’s comfort and strength in this time of sadness and grief.

Let us pray:

God of majesty, give rest to your servant Philip who, having served his Queen, and commonwealth, has passed from this life, full of years yet strong in spirit. As we give thanks for his life, as Prince and husband, as Consort and family person, we pray that all the good that he has done may continue to bear fruit in the lives of individuals and the life of the commonwealth, to your honour and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[1]

A Prayer for the Royal Family:

Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness, we humbly pray you to bless our most gracious Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth, Charles, Prince of Wales, William, Duke of Cambridge, and all the Royal Family: endue them with your Holy Spirit, enrich them with your heavenly grace; prosper them with all happiness; and bring them to your everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for resurrection hope

Eternal Lord God, you hold all souls in life: shed forth, we pray, upon your whole Church in paradise and on earth the bright beams of your light and heavenly comfort; and grant that we, following the good example of Prince Philip and those who have loved and served you here and are now at rest, may at the last enter with them into the fullness of your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Bible Reading for Monday in the second week of Easter is taken from Matthew 28:1-11

Bible Reading

1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’

Devotion  

Hallelujah Christ is Risen!

How we greet each other says a lot about ourselves and the culture we come from. In Australia, it is common to greet each other with, “Hi, how are you?” or “G’day mate, how’s it going?” The obligatory reply is, “Good, and you?” It is most interesting to watch the fumble when the perfunctory, “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” gets an unexpected reply of “I am not good today”

For Chinese the greeting is, “Have you eaten to the full?” The reply is, “Thank you, I have eaten.” For Bahasa speakers, the greeting is, “Apa Kabar?” Which means, “What is the news?” The reply will be, “Kabar baik or baik baik saja.” Meaning, “The news is good.”

Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians would greet each other with, “As-salamu alaykum.” Which means, “Peace be upon you.” The reply is “alaykum As-salamu” which means, “Peace also be with you.” Our Jewish community also greet each other with Shalom.

In my estimation, the best greeting I came across was when I was in India. A group of us would be walking along the streets to a meeting. Suddenly, one of the Indian Christian walking with us would shout, “Hallelujah Jesus Christ has risen.” About 30 meters in front of us, a man would shout back, “He is risen indeed Hallelujah.”

Not only were we non-Indians startled, but a few on the local people along the road were looking at us with curiosity. Unbeknownst to us, the Indian Christian has seen another Christian walking towards us. The greeting among Christians there is a proclamation that our Lord is risen from the dead. What a powerful testimony and what a joyful shout of joy!

Isn’t this greeting better than, G’day, how’s it going or ave you eaten and even peace be with you.

Wouldn’t it be great if we can keep the passion of Easter alive throughout the year? Wouldn’t it be a powerful statement if Christians could greet each other with this greatest proclamation of all times – that Jesus IS alive, yes, he is ALIVE forevermore?

This resurrection fact is what all of us Christians base our hope on. This event changed the whole destiny of humankind for eternity. It is the reality that transformed our hopeless imprisonment in death to the liberation of eternal life by our Saviour. There is no other more important truth for all humanity than this short statement. “Jesus has risen from the dead!”

As the hymn says,
Because he lives, I can face tomorrow
Because he lives, All fear is gone
Because I know he holds the future,
My life is worth the living just because he lives. [2]

May the reality our risen Lord energises and empowers you to live for him each day.

The Morning Collect

Almighty God, you have conquered death through your dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant us by your grace to set our mind on things above, so that by your continual help our whole life may be transformed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit in everlasting glory. Amen.[3]

The Blessing

May the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes,
the love of God be reflected in your hands,
the wisdom of God be reflected in your words,
and the knowledge of God flow from your heart,
that all might see, and seeing, believe
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Thank you for our time together. Looking forward to be with you again next week. In the meantime, do good. Love outrageously. Enjoy life. Praise God. Amen. Goodbye.


[1] A Prayer for Prince Philip recommended by the Archbishop:

[2]Because He lives”, Gloria L Gaither, Bill Gaither

[3] A Diary of Private Prayer, Baillie, John; Oxford University Press, 1936. (Day 29)

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