He’s alive. And because of that there is hope. Eternal hope.
And hope is one thing the world sorely needs right now amidst all the chaos near and far.
Even in remote Samoa, we all need to cling on to hope like it is our only friend.
It’s the undeniable truth.
Everywhere we look today we see conflicts.
We live in a time marked by strife, violence and wars.
When we switch on the TV, we see so much bloodshed.
Gone are the days when the loss of life was restricted to war zones and battle fields. These days they are happening everywhere. And sometimes live for the world to see.
Indeed this is a time unquestionably marked by infamy and shame around the world so that we’ve become so used to seeing bloodshed, death and experiencing the resulting hopelessness which follows.
Here in Samoa, we haven’t been incident free ourselves.
Although there are no civil wars and bloody strife visible in most places to speak of, there is no doubt the increase of acts of lawlessness and wanton violence are alarming.
Some of these cases have claimed innocent lives.
Others have led to long drawn Court battles that are still pending.
Ironically, we often talk about troubles elsewhere in the world and yet we talk about peace and stability as if they belong to this country.
It’s true to an extent.
But there is also reason to be alarmed.
Today, peace and stability in Samoa is under threat. Whereas family violence has increased without a doubt, the behaviour of come members of our community leaves a lot to be desired. There are fights about different issues going on everywhere.
There are divisions among families, churches, villages and even in government leadership. There are divisions among brothers, sisters, parents and children, pastors and churches and even pastors and other pastors. These are manifested in some of the problems we see around us. But such is life. It’s full of challenges, ups and downs.
But folks there is always hope.
And what better hope is there than knowing that our Lord Jesus Christ has risen and in him there is hope for peace, hope for reconciliation, hope for the poor, the sick, the hungry and hope for all that are hopeless.
Indeed that is the message of today – Resurrection Sunday. We believe nothing personifies hope more clearly than Jesus Christ being raised from the dead.
We’ve said this before and we will say it again. It times like these when we commemorate Easter; we are not remembering someone who is dead.
No, we believe that our Christ is a risen Saviour, who sits on the right hand of the Father and who will return one day because he promised us that he would.
Which is why the essence of today is that living hope that can only be found in Him.
Let’s think about love, peace, forgiveness, restoration, reconciliation and care.
Let’s be encouraged that whatever we are going through, we must learn to say this too shall pass.
As leaders, we have to remind our young generation that force and violence are not the answer. What’s important is dialogue and mutual respect. And lets not forget the Samoan saying: O lalo lava e saili ai malo. (It is through humility that victory is won).
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of humility. He is the son of God who became a man so he can win people back to God.
On this day many years ago, Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
That gave mankind hope, hope that is eternal.
For today, let’s take heart in the message of hope that Jesus Christ is alive.
And because he is alive, everyone who believes in him and his resurrection – as this country is celebrating today – can have hope.
Have a peaceful Sunday Samoa, God bless!