May 7, 2023

MESSAGE – Fifth Sunday of Easter – A – 7 May 2023

MESSAGE – Fifth Sunday of Easter – A – 7 May 2023

HAPPY EASTER IN YOU! How are we living the resurrection? One of the biggest questions we must face as followers of Christ is that of how our faith interacts with the crises in our world, and our engagement with them. The reality is that we live in a world of struggling and sorrow and of great joy and beauty, and that Jesus, and those who followed Jesus, faced persecution, accusation and suffering.

They were not exempt from life’s troubles, and sometimes their faith even brought suffering on them. And so we witness Stephen, who is stoned for his witness to Christ, but who entrusts himself to God. We read the words of the Psalmist who, facing persecution and attack, commits himself to God’s care and protection. Peter tells of how Christ was rejected, but God honoured him and has built a community of light with Christ as the foundation. And Jesus, reassuring his disciples, reminds them that they can find peace in trusting him, and connecting with God through him.

The gift of this week is the assurance that, even as we face suffering, our lives are in God’s hands, and, if we will entrust ourselves to God’s care, we will find peace and will be partners in God’s work in our world. This is not the message of ease and of guarantees of the “good life” that we might hope for. But, it is something much better. It is an assurance that as we live in this world and experience its pain, along with all people, we are partners with God, and we have the confidence that our lives and their ultimate destiny are in God’s hands.

May we find both assurance and a call to action in our worship this week.