Easter Sunday   12th April  | Sermon



The Love Feast: Is Christ seen in Hamilton East

Greetings all, Happy Easter to you, it’s great to share with you this special Sunday morning in the warmth of our individual homes. Christ is Risen , He is risen indeed.
Thanks for tuning in. We truly have been living differently to our norm, these last few weeks, whether in our own homes or different homes. There has been significant change for each one of us. The good news is that God is still with us.  Christ is risen.
Thank you for Rev Alipates message on Good Friday which focussed on the darkness in our lives being conquered by the light of the world, the living word Jesus the Christ. 
I trust that you have all seen the Easter Story, or the drama that was acted out so well by different bubbles in the parish. Please check out the church website and the church face book page.
On the Methodist website, ministers have uploaded their own services for others to view. 
I’ve decided to share the resources from colleagues around the country and speak briefly to the drama that the Parish have heroically put together for this specific weekend. Even though we haven’t been able to perform it as planned. The time of all involved and the final product, will be a, church family, resource to be used and is a reminder of one way ,the church responded to the COVID 19 virus during Easter. Though trials come our way We as Christ’s followers act as vessels of the living God to make ways through the darkness so that the light will be seen. 
A Wesley tradition which I was reminded about recently is the Agape or Love Feast. And that is what I would like to invite you to this Easter Sunday, a Love feast. Included in this feast is the word of God, prayers and our communion together with one another through various forms of technology. The food for the feast however will be eaten in our individual bubbles. Enjoy… 
I have included in the worship resources, the service of Rev David Poultney who touches on the Love Feast. Please have a look.
We can view the Easter Story production as a love feast. If you read what David Poultney  has written,  our drama can be seen as a Love feast, depicting a wide range of people and different modes or mediums used. Such is the love of Christ and the resurrection being applicable to all on this earth. With the presence of testimony, scripture, spiritual food and people coming together, God’s love is illustrated clearly in this drama. 
I believe we all know the story of Easter. Due to COVID 19 virus, different families have had the chance to act out different scenes. Thank you to those families involved, it’s been great watching the drama and how we bring our own contexts to the Easter Story. We are an Easter people. 
As a multicultural parish, if we choose to make it difficult, we can never shine the light of Christ. We   are all so different, we think differently, we come from different backgrounds and honestly everyone believes “our own culture” is the right way…... In the drama some really dressed up for the drama, others of us just took it as a normal day’s occurrence. The message however, came through, loud and clear. We need to be more aware and more understanding of those around us who are also Gods creation. 
Some of us may look at the recording and think,” it  stinks!”. That is ok that is your opinion. What I see however, is different groups, working together to present a message to others. It was done differently. That is what is important. Each bubble did what they could the best they could, in the limited time they had. It brought people together in the bubbles, to practice and some have the time to spare, in this extraordinary situation. This was a constructive use of that time, working together as a bubble, reciting the word of God. 
To me this is a work of art. Understanding, is needed to work together within your own bubble yes whether there are 2 people or 7, we must be understanding with one another, we must respect each other. Make sure that the Risen Christ is in our bubbles. Parents, grandparents, children of God, this is our responsibility no one else’s. We all have apart to play. If you need support, please call someone. Your church family is here to help. In this respect please contact K’aute whose details should be in the notices and sign up with them. There are services around that can assist, healthcare, foodbanks also in the notices. This is community supporting each other, resources available for those in need.  
The resurrection today affirms the assurance given, that yes God has called us to be bold in what we proclaim, to go out and tell the world, to show the world that Christ is alive. How can we do that effectively?  by showing the life of Christ among ourselves, in our bubbles, in our churches in our Parish. We have such a wonderful multicultural Parish. God has blessed us with new family members arriving from across the world. God brings families to our church, so that we can share Gods love, compassion and hospitality with them. We too, learn from them and their backgrounds and in so doing, learn more about ourselves and our God. 
We believe that God is the common factor which binds us together. Jesus himself prays for us, His followers, for our unity. Stop looking at ourselves or at others, but look to our blessed assurance, our Risen God and Saviour. Christs death and suffering was not for nothing, it was for you and I. Whether we like it our not we will all face judgement.
May God’s spirit move within each one of us, the body of Christ, this Easter Sunday so that we are going out to make disciples and helping others to hear the Spirit of God and to choose life, Jesus. We do this at all times even during the pandemic. It is on gong when we are one with Christ, perhaps even more relevant when in a pandemic.   
Hamilton East Methodist Parish, when we go out as one, in unity, miracles will happen, stop doubting. With God leading us, with the light guiding us, it can be done, nothing is impossible. Once again, I mention stewardship, everything belongs to the Lord, including you and I.How are we all playing our part as God’s child and the Lord’s steward?   
Is Christ seen in Hamilton East Methodist Parish or in Hamilton East?  That, people of the Risen Christ is up to you and me, we are part of the body of Christ here in Hamilton East. Aotearoa. That is our role and our part to play.  
As you and we all share in a meal today, our love feast, may we all reflect that Christ died and rose so that you and I can know and share and live the love of Christ  and tell others about this amazing phenomenon.
Christ is Risen, he is risen indeed. 
Happy Easter !!!!
Kia kaha, Kia manawanui, Be strong in Christ as we stay well, stay safe and stay at home. Blessings. 

Rev.Alisa Lasi 

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     Visit Hamilton East Methodist Parish          Facebook Page for the video clip.