May 16, 2023

MESSAGE – Sixth Sunday of Easter – A – 14 May 2023

MESSAGE – Sixth Sunday of Easter – A – 14 May 2023

HAPPY EASTER IN YOU! How are we living the resurrection? This week flows beautifully – and challengingly – from last week. The assurance that was explored through the readings in Easter 5A is found this week in the promise of God’s abiding presence. God’s presence continues in an attitude of comfort, emphasising God’s nearness
and God’s strengthening of those who struggle.

In Athens, Paul speaks to the people of the city about a God who can be known and “in whom we live, move and have our being.” He invites them to recognise that God is very near to all people, whether they are aware of God or not. The Psalmist reflects on God’s presence even during times of ‘testing’ and gives thanks for God’s rescue and forgiveness, and celebrates that God does indeed hear the prayers of God’s people. In Peter’s letter, the apostle continues to offer comfort to a persecuted church, assuring them that they are following in Christ’s nail-scarred footsteps, and that in Christ they
are saved.

And, in John’s Gospel, Jesus offers the promise of the Spirit, assuring his disciples that by the Spirit they will always know that God is with them and in them, and they will enjoy the love relationship that Jesus has given them.

The wonderful, challenging and comforting message of this week is that God is intimately available to us, and that God’s presence and resources are accessible to us as we face the challenges and struggles of following Christ and living fully. The inevitable question this raises is whether we are willing to embrace God’s presence, and rest in God’s strength even as we wrestle with injustice and the big crises facing our world.