Sunday    26th April  | Sermon


Reflection :“Stay home, Save lives”.





Dedicated to our Heros in remembrance of ANZAC Day- compliments of the Bristons family crafted from recycled  New World shoppining  bags 

Reading : 1 Peter 1:17 -23 & Luke 24:13-35

Kia ora, Te na koutou katoa, Mabuhay, Salaam, Malo Soifua, Ni sa bula, Malo e lelei, Greetings in the mighty name of our resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ. Before we continue, can we have 2 minutes of silence, wherever you are, just to remember those who did serve in the World Wars as ANZAC DAY Memorial. I’ll say a prayer after that.

Let us pray :
Father, we thank you for those lives, who did heed the nation call, they went to save lives. We remember them and may they continue to rest in peace. We pray for their families and all of us, in Jesus’s name, Amen.

My text is taken from 1 Peter 1: 18 & 19 – “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect”   

My theme is, “Stay home, Save lives”.

Yesterday, 25th April, 2020 was ANZAC DAY, where we remember our fallen heroes, who joined the combined forces of Australia and New Zealand at World Wars. These heroes had to leave their bubble in order to save lives. 

Today in Aotearoa, we have been called upon by the nation to stay home for it will save lives during our Alert Level 4 lockdown. It makes today, thirty two days of Alert Level 4 lockdown. We will move into Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28th April, 20 and the message remain the same, “Stay home, save lives.”

Last Sunday, 1st Sunday after Easter, bear in mind it is Easter Season; it was about Thomas, whom commonly known as Doubtful Thomas. Today I pick Peter for he was one of the disciples who was timid before Christ’s Crucifixation but very bold in his epistle. 
Peter’s epistle was all about encouragement and comfort to those new belivers who have turned away from their wicked ways, faith and religion and accept Christianity. It was the early days of the Church. He admonished them that they are valueless; it was the precious blood of Christ that had redeemed them. 

I looked up at the Collins Concise English Dictionary; for the word redeem is mentioned in my English bible, which is NIV version. Redeem means to free humanity from sin by death on the cross. Redemption means deliverance from sin through the incarnation, suffering and death of Christ. 

In Peter’s lifetime, the Church was persecuted by the Roman Empire. The newly converted Christians were killed and used as sports in the arena. Peter urged them, be strong, remain in your bubble and hold on to Christ. It is on an interest to me that the areas mentioned in the epistle, Galatia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia and Bithynia are now part of modern Turkey, where most of our fallen heroes in World War 1 are laid to rest.

In the gospel reading, Luke 24: 13 – 35, it was about the 2 disciples who travelled out of Jerusalem to Emmaus. They were joined by the road by Jesus but they did not know. It was until later that they realized it was Jesus, their Master who had accompanied them. Then they rushed back to Jerusalem, where the rest of the disciples, were living in their bubble.

The power of the resurrection change lives, faiths and religion during Peter’s lifetime. It was a revolution and a fire that refines the world at that time.

Today, the issue is how do we show the victorious power of our resurrected Savior amid COVID 19 lockdown?
We got used to gather at a place or building to have fellowship, share communion and listen to the word of God. We did not try other alternate ways for it was not required. I got used to preach in front of a live audience and this is my first time to be recorded to go on the website. However, we have to cope with the lockdown and able to administer the word of God. We are moving onto a new era where we have to rely on our prayers and technology in order to be seen and heard far and beyond.

We got used to the idea of going out physically to the world and testify for Jesus. Prove to the world that Jesus is a winner. The challenge of today’s message is to remain in your bubble and pray for others. Do not go within 3 meters of others so as to avoid transmission of the COVID 19 in our community. COVID 19 is a virus, a deadly virus where its cure has not been found.
I remember watching our Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Winston Peters in one of his live statements; saying that we are at war with COVID 19. Our best defense is to stay home for it will save us and others. This COVOD 19 is alleged to be able to jump from a person to others within a defined length. It is deadly. Stay home, save lives.

By staying home, we can still have our fellowship through website, zoom, telephone, messengers and other online tools. We never leave our bubble but we can be heard from afar and beyond through technology. Isn’t that faith without sight. It is the best summary of stay home and save lives.

Although we do not see God face to face; but our faith proves that God is here with us. By faith we heed St Peter’s words, that by Jesus Christ’s precious blood we have been redeemed and gives us sense to be in compliance with our government directives to stay home save lives. By staying in your bubble, you can talanoa, korero, veivosaki with God on a daily basis.
Although I do not see you all physically; I’m maintaining my bubble and continue to pray for you all. By faith, I know that are praying for me. Let us maintain our bubble and pray for one another. By faith, I know that God is with us in our own bubble during this trouble times. In Jesus name. Amen.

Father, I thank you for your word of encouragement. Help us to maintain our bubble and glorify you. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, love of God and fellowship of Thy Spirit, be with us. Amen.       

Ofa   Pouono 

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