He ara te Karaiti

Easter Day
Christ is Risen!

Acts 10:34-43 
Psalm 118:1-2,14-24 
Colossians 3:1-4 
Matthew 28:1-10

Alleluia! The Lord is risen indeed. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Alleluia! Luke 24: 34 

Tena koutou katoa e te whanau o Te Wairua Tapu.

Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!

For some of us, as I am sure for all Christians worldwide, we have waited patiently to celebrate this momentous event. Every year I remind my fellowship that no matter what challenges or struggles they may have faced in the past, life will get better. Never give up, never let go and always have hope in a better and brighter future. We always look forward to Easter Sunday so the gospels can remind us of the truth. Our Lord is Risen! Those words speak for themselves. They don’t need me to justify or defend them. St Matthew tells us, the angel told the women who went to Jesus’ tomb. “He is not here; he has been raised.” and “He has been raised from the dead.” They also saw Jesus, touched him and heard his voice. 

Life can lead us down many different pathways with a multitude of variances that effectively decide which one we choose. The problem we encounter is that unless we have a solid foundation to begin with, we tend to lose track of where we have come from to know where we will eventually end up. That is why today is so significant. Easter constantly reminds us that this is our foundation. The beginning and the end. 

This year is different from any other year for most of us and it has changed our lives forever. As Maori and as Christians, we have had to physically cease practicing our traditional and cultural values and beliefs. It has been a challenge to quickly adjust to this new way of living. Isolation, unemployment, social distancing, constant hand washing, gloves, masks, cashless transactions, new laws, new fines and I’m sure there will be more changes to come. I had to do karakia for a tangihanga over the phone the other day, no zoom or face-time. Very distant. Is this the future? Virtual reality? People are already getting used to this way life. Why leave home? People in some countries are already to scared to venture outside. 

Although the future may seem uncertain, one thing that hasn’t changed and will never change, Our Lord is Risen! This is the reality for me and all Christians. It stops the ground from falling away from under us. No matter what confronts us we know that Jesus walked, talked, healed and performed many miracles. He showed compassion and unconditional love to insiders and outsiders, the high and the lowly, the marginalised and the outcast. As hard as it gets sometimes, knowing the truth about Easter releases all of my worries, fears and uncertainties because Easter is all about new life, light, joy, peace and hope. That changes everything about how we should live. Everyday should be Easter for us. Christ’s resurrection is not an annual celebration. It’s a way of life. I life of gratitude you and I get to live out in an ever changing world. Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!

Alleluia, faithful God: on this day you raised Jesus from death, and calmed our greatest fear. Help us to celebrate with joy; that, in greeting the risen Saviour, we may be filled with the hope of resurrected life. 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.

Archdeacon Kaio Karipa