Religious Affairs Ministry Releases Easter Message to Christians in Indonesia
Date 9 April 2020
Ministry of Religious Affairs has released message on Good Friday and Easter celebration, calling on Christians to carry out their worship at home using information technology.
The Directorate General for Christian Community Guidance of Ministry of Religious Affairs also delivered the Christ’s message on Easter through the flyers distributed to churches in Indonesia.
“I invite all Christians in Indonesia to become a church that values, nurtures and honors life,” Director General for Christian Community Guidance Thomas Pentury said in Jakarta, Thursday (9/4).
“Let’s become a church that rises, testifies, and solidly serves in a pluralistic society amidst the diversity of Church denominations,” he continued.
Thomas also invites Christians to be a church that continues to develop theological insights, ecumenical insights and nationalism to be more able to take part in the midst of global competition.
“To all Christians in Indonesia, I wish you a Happy Easter. May the spirit of Easter inspire us to make the best achievements for the people and our beloved nation, for the greater glory of God,” he said.
The Easter message issued by the Directorate General of Christian Community Guidance is as follows:
“He is not here, he has risen; “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (Matthew 28: 6; John 20: 21a)
My Christian brothers and sisters in Indonesia, peace and prosperity in the love of Jesus Christ. Happy Easter! As part of Indonesian Church and as citizens of Indonesia where people with different religions live, we should praise and show our gratitude to the presence of God in Jesus Christ, because of His love and grace we are able to celebrate Easter this year. As individuals, communities, fellowships, and as a nation, we deeply feel that God’s friendly hands have faithfully taken our steps and guided our paths amidst life full of struggles and turbulence. Indonesian Christians as an integral part of the Indonesian people should thank God for being sent as a solution to make the best achievement in a pluralistic Republic of Indonesia that respects and gives space for religions to live and develop.
This year’s Easter celebration is carried out in a special situation, as we are overcoming the exposure of the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused fear, anxiety and panic as thousands of people being taken away by the pandemic. These days, with full of joy and gratitude, Indonesian Christians and Christians across the globe celebrate Easter, commemorating Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Jesus, who throughout His life has received blasphemies, words of hatred, persecution and has embraced suffering, through the events of Easter has freed man from suffering and death that enabled him to become truly a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17 ). The Easter in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed thousands presents a paradox as the Easter is understood and is embraced as the event of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The Resurrection of Christ is the manifestation of God’s love for mankind that ends the power of death and replaces it with the power of life. Jesus himself emphasized that He was concerned and was taking sides in life. Celebrating Easter means nothing more than continuing to cultivate an attitude of appreciation and honor in practical life. Christians of all backgrounds continue to celebrate Easter with gratitude and joy because Easter gives them new optimism and a more prospective life. From a theological perspective, the celebration of Easter in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the essence and foundation of all Christian construction. The Bible states, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Corinthians 15:14)
Jesus is alive, Jesus has risen, Jesus has fought death. Angel’s speech is very emphatic: “He is not here because he has risen.” Jesus is not confined “here” to the grave, to the death, He has risen to create the hopeful life. As life is threatened by the spread of outbreak, by the spread of disease, by the greed of genocide, by the anger, by the conflict and the war, the Church and Christians must take immediate action to defend and preserve life.
Christians celebrate this year’s Easter in a special setting, the duality of joy as Jesus has risen from the dead, and a sense of grief over COVID-19 outbreak that has caused fatalities and created multidimensional impact. In that context, we encourage churches to carry out the Easter commemorative activities, including the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper with consideration of the various Government-initiated protocols and guidelines set up by Ecclesiastical agencies in our efforts to break the COVID-19 outbreak chain in our respective regions. In order to celebrate this year’s Easter, we invite all Indonesian Christians to:
- Become a Church that values, nurtures and honors Life
- Become a Church that rises, testifies, and solidly serves in a pluralistic society amidst the diversity of Church denominations
- Become a Church that continues to develop theological insights, ecumenical insights and nationalism to be more able to take part in the midst of global competition
Finally, to all Indonesian Christians, I wish you a happy Easter, and may the spirit of Easter inspire us to make the best achievements for the people and our beloved nation, for the greater glory of God. (PR of Ministry of Religious Affairs/EN)
Translated by: Ridwan Ibadurrohman
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana