Resurrection: A New Look at the Way We Live

Homily – Sunday, the 16th April 2023 – Sunday after Easter

Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9

For some people resurrection was a first-hand experience. Some had a one to one encounter as Mary Magdalene did, some had a collective experience as did the disciples in the upper room, some had to wait but did encounter Christ like Thomas did, some were met more than once to affirm the reality of resurrection and Peter was one such. Some never had an experience and claimed that it was a well devised myth. These experiences of the First Weeks of Resurrection continue to be the experiences and stories of people around us.

Peter is writing to the early church who lived with these tensions within. Of the many nuances of the church that he writes about, his assertion that he has been an eye witness to not only the life and death of Christ but also the resurrection and what it means to him, is also very relevant to us as a Church today.

The Preacher had a cartoon framed in his study. It was about a man in rags with a coat torn in all sides pointing at a man walking ahead of him who had a small stain behind his coat. The man in rags was pointing at and laughing at the stain while his own coat was in shattered bits and totally stained.

When we hear or do sermons it is easy to look around and say- this is exactly what that person wants. But seldom is a sermon but for me.

Resurrection is a new birth into a Living Hope.

In verse 3, we read Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Have we ever thought if it was possible to begin all over again

Pushed into dead ends have we thought about the little brook that does not waste time fighting the obstruction but finds new paths to flow on.

Shakespeare once asked- How poor are they that have no patience. What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

Giving up is not an option for those who trust in resurrection.

Resurrection is an opportunity to begin again- A fresh start is always possible. Let us leave the Tomb behind and start afresh.

That’s why we sang as the gradual

This is my resurrection day
Nothing’s gonna hold me in the grave
This is my resurrection day
Nothing’s gonna hold me down

Say goodbye to my yesterdays
Ever since I met You I am changed
This is my resurrection day
Nothing’s gonna hold me down

Resurrection is about a Living Hope. Hope is an experience that could be defined with several adjectives. Sometimes hope is a reasonable and tangible experience and sometimes it is beyond reason and logic but still very living and active,

When we began the service we heard

And I hear the savior say
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all

Resurrection touches upon our strength that is small. In other words on our weaknesses, our frailties, our doubts, our questions, our anxieties and calls us to find in Christ all that you need.

This world needs lot of Hope

This Chaplaincy Needs Lot of Living Hope

Each of us Need Grace to Understand the Mystery of Hope

The best way is to pray for greater understanding on the reality of resurrection and what it means to us today, here and now.

Resurrection is a new inheritance.

We read in verse 4 “and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”

We must all be aware of the temporariness of all that we have, be it riches, be it reputation, be it resources.

My morning devotion was about a very rich man. He came to fame through hard work. As he went up the ladder his demeanor and behavior also acquired a sense of arrogance. He thought he deserved the best and started dating a reputed film actress. But before he committed, he wanted to be sure and recruited a private agent to do a study on the lady. The report came a few weeks later authentic and reliable. It said, She is a fine personality- well behaved, well nurtured and well settled. Only concern is about her recent dating with a very undependable and scrupulous businessman who would go to any extend to exploit others for his gain. If she keeps off from this person, she would be perfect. It came as an eye opener for him as to how others saw him. While he wanted to know about others he did not look within himself.

When we rely on our wealth, our savings and our balances, we forget the transient nature of these. We should know the difference between what would stay and what would go away in a flicker.

Resurrection is about the imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance.

What do we have today in our lives that is imperishable?

What do we have today in our lives that remains undefiled?

What do have today in our lives that will not fade away?

A serious encounter with these questions will take us deeper into the amazing possibilities resurrection offers for us.

Resurrection is a new protection.

In verse five we read, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

In what do we find our security.

What does being protected by the power of God though faith imply?

We sing today

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

The protection the love of Christ offers by the power of God through faith for a salvation that will be revealed in its fullness in the last time is the beauty of understanding resurrection in is right perspective.

Sadhu Sundher Sing one of Asia’s most known preachers talks of one of his experience thus

One day after a long journey, I rested in front of a house. Suddenly a sparrow came towards me blown helplessly by a strong wind. From another direction, an eagle dived to catch the panicky sparrow. Threatened from different directions, the sparrow flew into my lap. By choice, it would not normally do that. However, the little bird was seeking for a refuge from a great danger.

I realised that Likewise, the violent winds of suffering and trouble blow us into the Lord’s protective hands.

Resurrection assures us that once we have reached that arms of Jesus we are protected indeed.

Resurrection is a new way of looking at suffering.

In verses 6 and 7 we read-  In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

Suffering is Always Temporary- It cannot last too Long.

The Cross Was the Good Friday Experience and On hindsight despite all the Pain and Passion it involved we still prefer to call it Good Friday.

Suffering sharpens the genuineness of faith as fire does with gold.

The marble piece in the pavement to a renowned sculpture always complained- People trample over me and gaze with awe at the sculpture both made from the same marble source.

It got its answer too- when the sculpture started with his chisel you decided not to cope and broke off. He had to settle with using you for the path-way but look at the other piece. It endured all those artistic work on it with patience and lo and behold is a sculpture if repute today,.

Suffering would lead to rejoicing coming from the praise, glory and honour that would be revealed in Jesus Christ.

That’s why we sang today

O Happy Day

Amidst all our pain, our anguishes and anxieties we come together and sing O Happy Day.

It is not hypocrisy. It is faith.

Resurrection is a new understanding of salvation

– the salvation of our souls. In verses 8 and 9 we read, Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

It is a celebration of Love. You have not seen him but you love him. In contexts of arranged marriages and digital marriages we have this reality even today. Not having met but still loving. But here we are talking about a much deeper reality.

It is a celebration of faith. You have not seen him but you believe in him. Remember what Jesus told Thomas- You believed because you saw, blessed are the ones who have not seen yet believe.

It is a celebration of joy. rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith.

I love those words- indescribable and glorious joy.

It is a celebration of salvation- the salvation of our souls.

There is a pertinent question Jesus had earlier asked- What will it profit a person if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.

Mephistopheles’ takes new forms today asking us if we want to trade our souls.

Yes, we talk much of physical well-being, emotional well-being and mental well-being but do we really trust in the grace and mercy of God for the well-being of our soul to be able to sing confidently- It is well, It is well with my soul


This world needs lot of Hope

This Chaplaincy Needs Lot of Living Hope

Each of us Need Grace to Understand the Mystery of Hope

The best way is to pray for greater understanding on the reality of resurrection and what it means to us.

It is this assurance that gives us the confidence to sing

All heav‘n declares
the glory of the risen Lord.
Who can compare
With the beauty of the Lord?

Vinod Victor

April 16, 2023

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