Be a Witness to the Resurrection

Jesus’ resurrection is what Easter is all about, but another dimension that keeps surfacing in the New Testament accounts of Easter – and actually long after Easter – is the disciples’ witness to the resurrection. We see this dimension built in to the Easter accounts themselves – in John 20, for example, Mary Magdalene meets Jesus in the garden, and after she realises who he is and he speaks to her, she goes and tells the disciples ‘I have seen the Lord’. In Matthew 20:8, the women who have seen Jesus run to tell the disciples their eyewitness testimony – in a society where women did not typically run. In Luke 24, when the two disciples have met Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and have finally seen who he is, they return to Jerusalem straight away to tell the others about what has happened to them and that Jesus is alive.

Later, when the disciples meet to choose a Twelfth Man to replace Judas Iscariot, one of the key items of the job description is that this one will be a witness to the resurrection. As the book of Acts unfolds, we see the Spirit-empowered church putting into action Jesus’ command to be his witnesses.

Witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus remains central to the task of the church. Unlike the apostles, we have not seen Jesus alive ourselves, but we rely on their testimony, and pass the story on in our own generation – in our own neighbourhoods and to the ends of the earth. We can acknowledge that the resurrection is a hard event to believe – but it was just as hard to believe in the apostles’ time as it is in ours. The apostles didn’t try to argue for the resurrection, they simply witnessed to it. What they argued for was what the resurrection proved about Jesus: that he is the king in God’s kingdom and therefore, that he rescues us, rules the world, and is to be loved, worshipped and obeyed.

I had the opportunity of sharing the story of Jesus’ resurrection with a young Aboriginal man a couple of weeks ago. He came from Minyerri, but divides his time between Mataranka, Minyerri, Katherine and Darwin. He didn’t really know any stories about Jesus. The news of Jesus rising from the dead is still news that people around us don’t know. Many do not even know that this is what the Easter festival is about. For us, Easter is at the heart of our faith, and the heart of our witness. Jesus is risen – he is risen indeed.

Bishop Greg Anderson

 

Presidential charge to the Synod of the Diocese of the Northern Territory

Bishop Greg Anderson’s Charge to the Synod of the Diocese, Friday May 5th, 2017.

Welcome to the 34th Synod of the Diocese of the Northern Territory. It is a great opportunity for us to meet as representatives from Anglican churches across the Territory, with all of our geographical, social, language and cultural differences, yet fundamentally united as brothers and sisters, because in Christ God has rescued us and brought us into one family. Synod in the Northern Territory is a much more complicated matter than in some other parts of the Anglican Church of Australia. Many people have to travel long distances to be here. We have challenges of accommodation. We have challenges of communication. We have challenges of providing food. I am very grateful to all those who have put in an enormous effort into preparing for this synod. In particular, our Registrar, Leeanne Zamagias, has spent many weeks in gathering and putting together the synod papers and in organising logistics, assisted by Jai Chandler in the diocesan office. Our Ministry Development Officer, Kate Beer, as well as being involved in organising logistics for synod, has worked hard with Keith Joseph and Bruce Chapman on the new Professional Standards Ordinance which will be considering tomorrow. [Read more…]

Bishop Greg’s Easter Message 2017

“So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”

Bishop Greg Anderson

I guess we are so used to the outline of the Easter story that we easily lose the details that ring so true-to-life. There’s an example in that sentence I just read out. Running is not a common activity in the New Testament, because first-century Palestine was not really a running culture. In particular, women were not runners. But the Easter story, not just in Matthew’s account, but in John’s as well, features quite a lot of running. These women run to tell the disciples the news they have just heard from the angel, that Jesus is no longer dead in the tomb but has risen.

[Read more…]

Upcoming Safe Ministry Days

We will be conducting Safe Ministry Training in the near future. The dates are as listed as well as details on what is involved. Please download the PDF poster to share with those whom this may be of interest.

A flyer for the upcoming training can be found here: SM Awareness Workshops – 2019

Alice Springs  The Church of the Ascension

18 Bath St

2nd and 3rd February 2019

       DarwinSt Peter’s Church

Trower Road & Sabine Road, Nightcliff

6 April 2019

KatherineThe Church of St. Paul

Victoria Highway

24 August 2019

Palmerston – St Luke’s Church

Cnr of Victoria Drive & Priest Circuit, Gray

3rd November 2019

Bishop Greg’s Easter Message 2016

Bishop Greg Anderson - photo courtesy Anglicane NTPolitical commentator Mungo MacCallum recently described Malcolm Turnbull’s performance in the top job as ‘a hugely disappointing resurrection’.

Maybe it is good that the word resurrection still has some place in today’s media. But the first resurrection sets the benchmark. All other so-called resurrections, including the PM’s, are inevitably hugely disappointing. They all, in the end, run out.

What Christians believe about the first resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the first Easter Day, is different.

Jesus appeared to his disciples, alive in his body, on the third day after his well-documented death.

This was not just a temporary return to life that would in the end run out. It was a breakthrough into a new and transformed kind of life, which provides hope for the whole world.

Our bodily life in the present world will in the end run out, but Jesus’ resurrection points forward to a future where death itself is defeated and life no longer ends.

Christians believe that the first Easter turns a corner onto the straight where we see clearly into the distance. What we see is a world where crises have been fixed, relationships restored, the environment healed and life is all good.

To be part of that future we align ourselves with Jesus.

Our present life has many potentials for difficulty, but Easter is like an anchor that gives us a mooring point of confidence. It injects the future into the present in a way that is anything but disappointing.

Bishop Greg Anderson

Bishop Greg’s Christmas Message 2015

Perhaps “the age of entitlement is over”, but most of us believe we have a right to certain things. Usually we call them human rights. Humans should expect to be free from oppression and slavery, to be paid for our work, to be able to have leisure, to express our views peacefully. Of course many people in our world lack these basic goods, and we should do all that we can to make sure that they are indeed universal.

But the Christmas message gives a whole new angle on rights. The Gospel of John says that ‘grace’ came through Jesus Christ. In other words, what Jesus brings to the world is not something that the world had a right to. Grace means kindness that is not deserved. When we give gifts at Christmas we might echo that grace – except that we feel awkward when somebody gives to us and we don’t give back to them! The grace that comes through Jesus has many sides. Most fundamentally, Jesus is God-with-us, showing God has not left us alone, but does what is needed to bring blessing to the world, even though we do not deserve it. Jesus also comes to us as fully human. He knows us from the inside. He models the love, humility, wisdom and courage that we want all people to display. Jesus himself taught that his reason for being was to find the lost and to bring people life in all its fullness.

We are challenged to respond to this grace in two ways.

First, we simply accept it, thankfully. This matches the structure of our Christian faith – we simply trust God’s promises to us through Jesus Christ, rather than having to be some kind of spiritual super-achievers to earn our way into friendship with God.

Second, we remember that as we received grace, so we should show grace to others. That means doing good to others whether they deserve it or not. This opens up all kinds of opportunities for demonstrating what God’s goodness is like, whether we do this on the individual level, or in partnership with others such as our congregations.

Christmas is a time of celebration. The grace that came in Jesus is a great thing to celebrate and to pass around.

(Photo courtesy Anglicare NT.)

Presidential charge to the Synod of the Diocese of the Northern Territory

Bishop Greg Anderson’s Charge to the Synod of the Diocese, Friday April 17th, 2015.

Bishop Greg's Synod Charge April 2015

Welcome to Synod. This is the 33rd time that people of the Diocese of the Northern Territory have come together for this kind of meeting since 1968, when we began as a diocese.

We meet like this because we are a fellowship of churches that belong together and that work together.

We belong together for at least four reasons.  [Read more…]

Synod 2015 set for April

Synod 2015 will be held on Friday 17th, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th April 2015, at Christ Church Cathedral and Kormilda College, Darwin.

All involved would appreciate your prayers for the Synod itself, and for all the preparation involved.