Please download the Moderator's Easter message here. A plain text version is below.
Light will triumph…it is the nature of God
Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death by crucifixion.
In New Zealand, we focus on the Easter Weekend (Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday) with Monday being a public holiday.
In another perspective, we focus on the Easter Season. This begins Easter Day and concludes on the Day of Pentecost. It is the Great Fifty Days of the Easter Season, which include eight Sundays. This season celebrates the resurrection and ascension of Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Easter is the main highlight in my Christian perspective. This includes the week prior to Easter, the Holy Week. It is the climax of ministry for me and my church community. Jesus came to the world because of God’s love. Jesus died and rose from the tomb, defeating death and sin once and for all. Jesus ascended to heaven saying, “I will come again”. Mark 13:26. Jesus had already taught, “My Father will send the Advocate, that is, the Holy Spirit, he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you”. John 14:26. Easter Season concludes on the Day of Pentecost, the day remembered for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Covid-19 changed all our best laid plans last year; missing Easter 2020 was a major let down for me personally. Hence, Easter 2021 is eagerly anticipated - let's hope we get to celebrate.
Easter reminds us that there is suffering, death, rejection, betrayal, denial, disaster. Through Covid-19, many in the world have experienced these.
I do not forget the suffering caused by this disease or how fortunate our country has been when I suggest that as we journey through the Easter Season we recall and appreciate the unexpected positive experiences that have come out of Covid-19. The opportunities, light, life, hope and love experiences that we encountered and continue to encounter in this time of pandemic.
Some fortunate ‘bubbles’ experienced wonderful times with family and friends, working together, sharing, caring, looking out for each other. Quality time together, with a different pace of life. We reconnected or connected for the first time with neighbours, helped others, strangers, disadvantaged, poor and needy. We gathered via online devotions, Zoomed nationally and globally. The list goes on. Life goes on. Let's not forget the lessons learnt, including how to be resilient and to adjust. Let us continue to adjust to any situation in life - now and yet to come.
Life, hope, light, peace, love and faith will always triumph. It is the nature of God.
Easter is for you, for your loved ones. God is saying, “I love you, unconditionally, sacrificially, in Jesus, my beloved Son.”
Right Reverend Fakaofo Kaio
Moderator Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand