New life in Christ – The foundation of our hope and trust
The Chinese congregation was joyfully expectant as baby Angus was baptised, his father confirmed and eight people reaffirmed their commitment to Christ.
As Christ is our wellspring of life through the Holy Spirit, so we celebrated new life in Christ at the Wellspring Anglican Chinese Congregation in Hobart!
Baptism is a celebration of Life.
Baptism with water signifies the cleansing from sin that Jesus’ death makes possible and the new life that God gives us through the Holy Spirit.
We declared this life affirming proclamation at the commencement of the Baptism Service in Mandarin, Hakka and English! These words affirm our commitment to life twice over: life through our parents and life through the Holy Spirit.
New life is joy filled and often accompanied through pain of birth. Life involves this chaotic intermingling of joy and pain. Why this note of sorrow? Well, life is chaotic and in prior weeks I have been involved with the sudden death of a much respected and loved Rector of the Parish of Deloraine, Revd Bill Knuckey, and time with his grieving family and parish, and a few weeks earlier the unexpected resignation of the Rector of Devonport.
In the midst of this sorrow the loving care of the parishes was amply evident, their heart for the grieving realised in practical compassion.
As affirmed so powerfully at the Service of Thanksgiving for Bill Knuckey,
I have this hope that because Jesus is the resurrection and the life because you (Bill) believed in him, you will never die, but sing praises of Jesus in heavenly places, which will be wonderful.
What is the foundation of our hope and trust in new life?
The foundation is a Person. The foundation is the One who said,
I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. John 11:25,26
Jesus finishes with the most important question every person will answer: Do you believe this?
At the funeral of a Christian we declared, Yes, we believe!
At the Chinese congregation, in Mandarin, Hakka and English, we declared, Yes, we believe!
On Resurrection Sunday, in languages all around the world, the minister declares, Christ is risen! and we respond with shouts of joy, He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Yes, I believe!
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
New life in Christ is for living. Enjoy!
Bishop of Tasmania
See article, New Life in Christ: http://www.tasmaniananglican.com/ta201404-01/
More articles in the April issue of our Tasmanian Anglican magazine: http://www.tasmaniananglican.com/ta201404-00/