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Archbishops' Easter Message

Kua ara a Te Karaiti! He pono tonu kua ara a Ia!

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!


What use is faith in the modern world?


In the story of the Gospel, we see that faith compelled Jesus towards at least these two things: courage, and compassion.


Jesus was courageous in his critique of the ruling powers. “Brood of vipers” he said against them, “You are nothing but white-washed sepulchres, full of dead bones.” Whether religious or civic, local or colonial, Jesus held nothing back when it came time to confront corrupt leaders. And they hated him for it.


But among the suffering and the poor, the despised and the marginalised, Jesus spoke with compassion. It was there that Jesus’ heart was moved to teach and support, comfort and heal. Moreover, Jesus was completely unafraid to be associated with so-called sinners. He shared God’s love with them. And they loved him for it.


When Jesus was led to the cross, it was not the suffering and the poor, or the despised and the marginalised who led him there. It was those who were powerful, corrupt, and in service of empire. It was hate that crucified the Christ. There’s a lesson there if we care to hear it.


But if it was hate that crucified Jesus, it was love that resurrected him. Therein lies another lesson from the story of Easter that we may still learn from.


Could we, would we dare to be like Jesus in today’s world?


Dare we confront powerful and corrupt leaders? Dare we be found among and seated at the table with the despised and marginalised?


Dare we speak of Hamas militants killing innocent men, women, and children in their hundreds and thousands? Dare we speak of Israel carpet-bombing Gaza and killing innocent men, women, and children in their thousands and tens of thousands?


Dare we speak of Māori and the indigenous being vilified and oppressed for political gain? Dare we speak of our takatāpuhi whanau being subjected to hate and bigotry at every turn? Dare we speak of the elderly, the challenged, and of women and children being marginalised and oppressed?


Dare we protect our neighbours from hate, and love them instead?


When you love the way that Jesus loved, you don’t have to be daring at all. That’s the power of love. Love gives you the faith and the courage to do what is right, no matter what.


So this Easter may you come to know again the power of the story of Jesus, and the love that compelled him to courage and compassion.


May you courageously challenge the corrupt. May you dwell with compassion among the despised and the marginalised. May you live a resurrected life.


++Don Tamihere

++Sione Ulu’ilakepa

++Philp Richardson


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