17 Apr 24

Hope Amidst Weeping and Grief

Newsletter | Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

You are probably emotionally reeling after the Bondi Junction murders. The tragedy of those needless deaths is too deep and I myself still can’t speak about it without weeping.

Weeping is appropriate, grief is appropriate, and yet hope is also appropriate in a Christ-centred school community like ours where we can look to our faith for comfort and hope.

It is more than just comforting that we are a Christian school. Being a Christian school with Christian staff means that we rely on the teachings of Christ. And yes, Christ’s teachings are comforting, but there is a whole lot more to Christ’s teachings in the Bible than merely comfort. As a Christian myself, I find it deeply reassuring to be able to cling to the Bible’s explanation of life and death.

The Bible remarkably brings death and hope together. It seems a counterintuitive connection, but the Bible is not apologetic about seeing death not as the end of hope, but as the beginning of hope-filled eternal life.

Our Christian view about death is based on a critical assumption. The critical assumption is that God made us, and He made us for life not for death. This assumption helps us understand why we are so uncomfortable with death. We are uncomfortable with death because we were never made for death. We were created for life and life everlasting. As Christians we believe that death wasn’t and isn’t God’s good intention. Death came into the world because humanity rejected the goodness of God.

Yes, death is awful, and yes, death doesn’t make sense to us because we are not created for death but for life. Yet notwithstanding all that, God allows us to die because it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. We Christians believe that despite death not being God’s original plan, death is the doorway to new life. God is nice and He likes us. So, through Christ, God redeems us from our bad choice, and leads us back to Himself, but we still have to pass through the doorway of death, to get through to that new life.

Have you noticed Melbourne’s stunning sunsets this week? Look to the west in the evening and see the beauty of the dying sun. Think about this; at the same time as we watch our day dying and the sun slipping away, that same sun is rising again to new life on another part of the earth. At twilight here our Melbourne sun may be dying, but it is rising again on the other side of the world. Thanks be to God that through Christ’s own death and resurrection, our lives can be like the sun, setting and slipping into darkness here, but rising to new life and light in another place.

Hope is one of God’s great gifts to people. Hope comes through the teachings of Christ. Being part of a Christian school means that your children’s teachers, along with all our staff who influence every part of this school community, are people filled with God-given hope.

David Gleeson