Kia ora All Saints Whānau,
Happy Easter! What’s great about Easter is that it’s not all over in a weekend. We get to celebrate Easter for 50 days - from Easter Sunday to Pentecost.
Each fortnight here in the parish we have 2 missional huddles that meet to journey together in an intentional time of discipleship. We ask questions like; “What is God saying to us? And what are we going to do about it?” We encourage one another towards making new disciples who then go on to make disciples. It’s all very transformative and exciting. I share this because every 5th time we meet together we do a mission fortnight. The last 10 days or so has been our most recent mission fortnight and the challenge this time is to spend sometime in a public place asking the Holy Spirit to point someone out to us who we can have a substantial conversation with. As I have been going about my days, I have been praying and thinking with great excitement about our groups as they practice and put themselves out into public spaces, seeking to make relationship and have conversations of depth.
In this season in the church year, we move from the cross to the resurrection. We journey through drama, suspense, sorrow, enlightenment, excitement and action of the revealing of Jesus, the Risen Christ! We remember the early church declaring the wonder of the resurrection. It’s true, he’s alive! I saw him! Those other people have seen him too! Go ask them.
I think about that wonder and passion in us for the same risen Jesus that is present to us today. What has happened to us is so wonderful, personal and transformative, yet we so often are ok with just having Jesus to ourselves. As I think about our mission challenge for our huddle this fortnight, I think about the nerves, fears, hopes and anticipation our group members might be experiencing. I think about the excitement (or lack of), the doubts about “Who am I? And why am I trying to spark up a random conversation with someone I feel like the Holy Spirit has pointed out to me?” Just like the early first century Jews, we need to be excited and passionate about the resurrection and what that offers.
Matthew 28 declares “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
As we have found our identity in the Risen Christ, who so loves us radically, wonderfully and personally, may we seek to be emboldened in our faith to share it with others.
John 14: 16 “ And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” …..26”But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”
I highlight these verses from John 14 here so that we know that the Father has sent the Holy Spirit that we continue to learn and be reminded of who we are in Christ, empowered and emboldened to know that we are first a disciple of Christ and that we are called to make other disciples so that others too can know how powerful, wonderful and ultimately personal the Resurrection is.