Christ our Victory

2nd Sunday of Easter
Christ our Victory!

Acts 2:14a, 22-32 
Psalm 16 
1 Peter 1:3-9 
John 20:19-31

Thanks be to God who gave us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia!
1 Corithians 15: 57

Tena koutou katoa e te whanau o Te Wairua Tapu.

It’s been one week since the empty tomb and our first “Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.” A week after the resurrection and the disciples are in the same place they were on Easter night.

So if the resurrection was such a big deal, why are the disciples still stuck in the same place? How has it changed them? Has it allowed them to see themselves and the world differently? They are in the same house behind the same locked doors as a week ago. What’s changed? 

Sound familiar? I wonder, what has Christ’s resurrection done for us? Is your life different after a week? Do you see the world in new ways now? What difference has the empty tomb made in your life over the last week? When I look at my life it looks really different from last Sunday, and the Sunday before, and the Sunday before that. And when I look at the world after a month, it has certainly changed and changed forever!

I used to think, gee those disciples, they were a bit useless, why were they stuck in the same place? They should’ve been onto it! After all, death has been defeated. “Christ is risen. Alleluia.”

However, in hindsight and after being in ministry for over 20 years, I’ve realised that resurrection takes time. It’s not a one off or annual event. It’s something that we grow into. It’s a process. Like I always remind you, it’s a way of life that we get to live out. We become resurrected people through the grace of God in the midst of our relationships and the circumstances of our lives. God is there every day of our lives as we walk into the resurrected life. 

And, as you know, It’s not always easy and some days are just plain hard. I’m sure, some of you, if not most of you, are starting to struggle during this time of isolation. You don’t have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. If you live alone, loneliness becomes a big problem, especially when going to karakia every Sunday was your big day out to be with other believers. For parents, you now have to be parents! You have to be the police, teachers, cleaners, chefs and when you’ve done all this, go to work or work from home! For some, it’s getting real tough. No mahi: no money, can’t pay mortgages, rent, bills and buy food. And while this is all happening, pressure starts to build and we all no what happens when it gets to much! 

So stop! Breathe and allow the risen Christ to just be with you for a moment and allow him to say, ‘Peace be with you’. You see, we get distracted real quick and miss when we are in the presence of God. It’s not a place, it’s a space. God creates it not us. It’s where you and I are right now. It’s a fleeting moment in God’s time, own it, then it’s gone and we are back to reality. Like the disciples, Jesus came amongst them, then he was gone. As people of faith we must live in both the spiritual and physical worlds. We cannot choose one over the other. Otherwise it becomes nothing but escapism. We either want to run away to God or run away from God. Just stay still. Believe Christ is risen and he has defeated death. Nothing else matters. Has your life changed in a week? Mine has. I continue to walk my resurrected story no matter where it leads me. Remember resurrected life takes time. Amen

Archdeacon Kaio Karipa

God of mystery, you affirm our right to question what we find hard to know. Grant us the maturity of faith that knows when to question and when to trust. Through Jesus Christ our Liberator, who is alive and reigns with you,  in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.