May 27, 2020
John 20:19-23

 

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:19-23)

 

In this week’s appointed gospel we find the disciples, locked up in a darkened room, hiding away in fear.  They are “wanted men,” followers of the one named Jesus who has just been executed by the religious and political authorities. They have heard the news of the resurrection, but it has not yet set them free from their fear.  They are still very much afraid of what might happen next, they are scared that they might be the next ones to be hung on a cross.

 

And then all of the sudden, into this darkened room of fear, Jesus appears and greets them, “Peace be with you.”  And then he invites them to go back out into the world with this gift, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

 

The disciples are invited to trust and believe in the “death and resurrection” of Jesus.  They are encouraged to let go of doubt and fear and to trust in the Kingdom of Heaven.  They are invited to receive The Holy Spirit and to be set free to live a new kind of life.

 

      1. Trust And Believe - Greg Ronning

 

 

She says softly don’t you run away
You won’t find a better way
Step beyond just being free
Trust and believe, believe in me

 

 
The room is darkened and the candle is dim
I know you’re scared, afraid to begin
But out of control, love must be
Trust and believe, believe in me  

 

 
She says softly don’t you run away
You won’t find a better way
Step beyond just being free
Trust and believe, believe in me

 

 
Let go of your hiding place
Tear the mask off of your face
The world is broken, can’t you see
Trust and believe, believe in me  

 

 
She says softly don’t you run away
You won’t find a better way
Step beyond just being free
Trust and believe, believe in me

 

 
Come closer, into my eyes
Don’t let the future be stolen by lies
The promise holds the hope you need
Trust and believe, believe in me  

 

 
She says softly don’t you run away
You won’t find a better way
Step beyond just being free
Trust and believe, believe in me

 

 

We too find ourselves locked up and hiding away in darkened rooms.  We too live in fear – in fear of the death and resurrection, in fear of what others might think, in fear of standing up for the truth in a world run by powerful lies, in fear of standing up for the peace and justice proclaimed by Jesus, in fear of living out God’s great dream for the world, in fear of finding that place where our dream and God’s dream intersect and become our great calling in life.

 

Fear is a real and powerful thing, in fact the most frequently cited exhortation in the holy scriptures is to “be not afraid.”  So it is that God has given his people the Holy Spirit, a spirit which inspired and led the disciples to come out of their dim and darkened hiding places and into the world, a spirit which came into the world like the rush of a violent wind, a spirit that joyously danced upon the faithful likes flames of fire, a spirit which brings to life in believers a variety of gifts and the passion to serve the kingdom; a spirit which gives birth to the church.  In with and through the Holy Spirit God’s people are re-membered into “the very Body of Christ,” transformed into a living place where death no longer has the last word.  In the Spirit fear is overcome, hope rises up, peace dwells, and love sets us free.  Amen.

 

 

 

Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.