Moderator’s Easter 2024 Message

Rev Dr Ian Tozer, Moderator of the Uniting Church in Western Australia shares an Easter 2024 message with our Uniting Church WA community.

This video was filmed on the lands of the Whadjuk Nyungar people. Special thanks to Rob Douglas, Presbytery Minister Mission for film production and editing.

Transcript of Moderator’s Easter Message 2024

“I’m here within sight of Derbyl Yerrigan, the Swan River, on Whadjuk Nyungar country and the sun shining, it’s a very pleasant day. We don’t live with some of the constraints that others live. There are no bombs going off. There’s little threat of violence, and yet we know that in our world there’s a lot of pain.

How is it that we speak of Jesus Christ in a world of pain?

Some years ago I took an image from this book (the Faces of Jesus) and I showed it in a congregation where I was going to take the service. It was this image of an African carving of the face of Jesus showing, it seems to me, great compassion and love for people. The crown of thorns is visible and yet it doesn’t have the horror that would have been a part of the crucifixion story.

It so happened that day that an African person came along and was profoundly struck that the face of Jesus at the front of the church was a face that he recognised. He was able to see that Christ came for him. We had a congregation which discussed the ways in which they had grown up with the images of a long blonde haired blue eyed Christ. And they hadn’t often thought about the fact that that depiction was just that, a depiction, often reflecting the people, rather than thinking about how Jesus would have actually looked.

I find it important to think about the face of Christ.

For me, Christ has often come with a female face, through women who have listened to me and cared for me and helped me at difficult moments. Sometimes the face of Christ has been a male face, sometimes a young face, sometimes an older face.

And it strikes me as we come to Easter and our faith tells us that out of this extraordinary thing, God has come to us and has reconciled us so that we can be in a relationship with God. Because the death was not the final word.

The faces we have, can be a face of Jesus Christ for other people, if we will live in the Spirit of the one who died and rose again,

May it be so.”

Rev Dr Ian Tozer, Moderator, Uniting Church in Western Australia

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