Easter - it's more than hot cross buns and chocolate eggs

From the conflict we hear about and the terror we see taking place in our world, we're led to think the world is troubled and it's no wonder people struggle to make sense of where we're headed. These may seem like depressing remarks to begin this message with; however, they provide a perfect platform to stress the importance of reflection and thinking about how lucky we are to live in Australia.

Easter of course, is a time to take stock, to reflect and take a short break. To be with family and friends and enjoy those freshly baked hot cross buns and take part in Easter egg hunts collecting chocolate eggs left by the only rabbit a farmer could love.

Jerusalem is a long way from the Riverina and Central West, although the Easter story which is celebrated this week by Christians all around the world should resonate with all of us no matter our faith belief or lack thereof.

While we enjoy the break from work, consume a chocolate egg or three, may we remember the reason for this time. Whether Easter is about living out your faith by attending a church service, watching a bit of sport, getting together with family and friends for a seafood feast or enjoying a well-earned break, take a moment to be thankful for the peace and freedom we all enjoy in Australia.

I also pay tribute to those rostered to work over the Easter break, particularly those employed as emergency service workers and the doctors and nurses in our hospitals. These men and women sacrifice their precious time with loved ones to ensure our health, safety and holiday enjoyment.

For those travelling on the roads this Easter long weekend, please be safe. Take regular breaks and obey the road rules for your sake and those you share the road with.

My wife Catherine and I extend our best wishes to everyone in the Riverina and Central West for a happy, safe and reflective Easter break.

Cristy Houghton