All Saints and Parihaka

This Sunday we are commemorating All Saints day and will be honouring all those we call saints. We learnt about some on our Anglican saints last week. It will also be All Souls day and we will give thanks for all the faithful departed, particularly our loved ones who have died. We honour their lives and give thanks for all they mean to us.
Our gospel reading is Matthews’s version of the Beatitudes. Too often we read these as a description of the saints and beyond reach for most of us. However, to be blessed was to be honoured – to be those we look up to and aspire to be like. Jesus is redefining the values upon which his and our society are built on. To be a follower of Christ is to live these.

We also remember the events of November 5 1881 when 1600 volunteer and Armed Constabulary troops invaded Parihaka settlement in Taranakiand deported the men to the ends of the South Island. We as followers of Christ often get it wrong. Many of those troops were church goers. None of the beatitudes mark their actions. In contrast the people of Parihaka, followers of the prophets of peaceful resistance; Te Whiti Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi lived them. Today we honour all who live Jesus teaching.

I am not preaching this week, so there will be no sermon notes.