To celebrate the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn marking its 150th Birthday, Bishop Stuart Robinson will embark on a 6 week long walk with a 2 metre cross starting in Eden and arriving in Canberra on Easter Saturday. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
The Easter message of bearing your cross has been embraced by Anglican bishop Stuart Robinson, whose six-week pilgrimage comes to an end this weekend.
The Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn has shouldered a 2.5-metre wooden cross - specially fitted with a wheel - more than 500 kilometres around his diocese as part of its 150th birthday events.
He said the symbolic act was a pointer to the Christian model of leadership.
''From a Christian perspective, good leadership is 'servant leadership','' he said.
''The story of Easter powerfully reminds us of the kind of commitment required to be a servant leader.''
Bishop Robinson, due to arrive back in Canberra this Saturday, said the message of Easter was that Jesus won the ultimate battle and conquered death.
''Through Jesus' actions on the cross, we can begin a new life with God,'' he said.
Bishop Robinson said Christians had some new role models to remind them of their positive mission, after a time of great change in church leadership worldwide.
He said Pope Francis and new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby understood the challenge of confidently sharing the good news of Christ.
''Their humble words and deeds have reminded the world that Christianity has a positive vision for human flourishing,'' he said.
A similar message was shared by the Catholic administrator of the Canberra and Goulburn archdiocese, John Woods, who said Pope Francis ''walks the talk''.
''Easter is a celebration of life,'' Monsignor Woods said.
''Pope Francis is an Easter person, he speaks and acts for life.''
Monsignor Woods said there needed to be a dying for a new life to emerge and encouraged people to act selflessly as Christ did.
''If we are to be people of hope and optimism, we are going to have to go beyond self interest [and] be responsive to need.''
He said self-interest would not address people's deepest needs.
Uniting Church in Australia president Andrew Dutney said his Easter encouragement was ''do not be afraid'', which he said was the first words spoken by Jesus to his followers after the resurrection on the original Easter Sunday.
''In the face of this joyous news, they cowered in fear,'' he said.
''Some couldn't believe their eyes and doubted.''
Reverend Professor Dutney said fear, panic and disbelief remained familiar responses today.
''Easter is a time to remind ourselves of the victory over fear that Christ's resurrection brings,'' he said.
''The fulfilment of God's promise of the power of love over hate, of the coming of justice and true reconciliation, means that we need have no fear of what lies ahead.''
He said the most fearful thing for many people was death but signs of renewal provided hope for the future.
''In the future, our church may not look the same or be exactly the same as it is now but I'm sure our passion for the Gospel and for its power to heal and transform broken lives and societies will be as strong as ever,'' he said.