Meditations, Reflections, Bible Studies, and Sermons from Kowloon Union Church  

“New Life and New Possibilities”

A sermon preached at Kowloon Union Church on Sunday 31 March 2013 by the Rev. Phyllis Wong. The scripture readings that day were Isaiah 65:17-25 and Luke 24:1-12.

Thank you, sisters and brothers from One Body in Christ, for sharing with us this wonderful drama.

Easter, is a special time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus who died on the cross.

This year, our Easter drama does not focus on the traditional narrative of the empty tomb in Jesus’ resurrection story. It tried to share the vision of a new heaven and earth taken from Isaiah instead.

In this new heaven and earth, people’s basic needs are met. They are given houses to live, food to eat. People are given fair share for their labour. Children and old people, the lowly of the society are well protected and taken care of. Animals and human beings live together in harmony. Hierarchical relationship is challenged and reformulated as it is shared in the vision from Isaiah 65 that we heard this morning.

During the procession, we brought forth five items, the first was a bowl of fruits – this represents the source of life and God’s provision to his people to satisfy their basic needs. With a grateful heart, people of God returns to God.

The animal toys presented were used to show the harmonious and restored relationship of all creatures.  

The other three symbols we took this morning also indicated the true meaning of Easter as well.

The Cross with lilies – cross is a symbol of pain and suffering. It is a symbol of shame and humiliation. The lilies symbolized that Jesus’ suffering and pain is transformed into hope, his death is transformed into new life through resurrection.

Stone –The stone at the entrance of the tomb was rolled out. An empty tomb signifies liberation -- people of God are no more enslaved by the power of death and darkness, but are set free from oppression and unjust treatment.

The last item, a Jug of Water – water is a symbol for tears. In Jesus’ pain, he takes away the tears of those who suffer. Because Jesus overcomes the power of the death and is risen, the tears is then transformed from pain to joy.

In the drama prepared by One Body In Christ this morning, I noticed one interesting arrangement. The savior, who represents Jesus, goes to give food to the laborer, love and comforts to the weeping woman, friendship to the little rabbit and set free the man who was kept in a prison of isolation and suppression, is a woman. Macy has taken up this role.

Jesus Christ, redeemer of the world was a man in history. But interestingly:

Jesus, son of God, savior of humanity and the world was born by a woman.

Jesus, son of God, savior of humanity and the world, whose resurrection was witnessed by women first. (Luke 24:1-12)

In Jesus’ time, women did not have high status as the society was still a male dominated society. But God chose women to become his first partner to fulfill his salvation plan.

It gives to people, especially to those who regard themselves as less important, less capable, less valuable and worthy of love, a new way to look at themselves.

Jesus came to the world to save everyone. His death and resurrection is for all. Everyone is embraced by the love of God. We are all equal.

In this special time of Easter, we keep remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus. But we do not just remember the old details, but to share new insights and fresh perspectives. It thus enables us to remember what a challenge it still is to look death in the face and trust that ‘Jesus is risen’.

Dear sisters and brothers, what is it in Easter’s narrative that you most remember and that you most trust? What is it in Easter’s narrative that would give you new life and new possibilities?

Closing prayer
Jesus Christ, God of new life,
may your resurrection,
and your breathing again,
anchor us in hope once more.

Dare our minds to dream again,
to believe beyond what this world offers
into something renewed and reborn.

Jesus Christ, God of new possibilities,
deepen our faith to believe that
there are mysteries beyond our knowing.

Strengthen us to trust ourselves as we trust in you.
Empower us to act with courage as in you,
all thing is possible.

May the new heaven and new earth that brings
 joy, peace and hope
dwells in us and this world.
Thank you Lord, for the power of life and loving kindness. Amen.

# posted by Heddy Ha : Sunday, March 31, 2013

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