Sermon – April 19, 2020 – Second Sunday of Easter

Today we hear the resurrection story of Jesus appearing to the disciples and showing them the wounds in his hands and side. He has to make a second appearance so that Thomas can see for himself.

 

The end of this text states “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you might come to believe that Jesus is the messiah, the son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.”

 

I wonder what was so reassuring for the disciples to see his wounds and hear his voice? Was it a sort of confirmation of reality – that YES- it really did happen. It wasn’t a nightmare.

  • Jesus was really crucified and did die.
  • And yes – somehow in ways that they surely could not have understood any worse or better than we do today – somehow it was also true that Jesus was resurrected.

 

Jesus said “receive the holy spirit” – did they know what that meant?

Were they really listening before when he said that the advocate would come when he was gone?

  • Were any of listening when Jesus promised the holy spirit would come and be with us?

Remember when the Angel came to Mary and told her that she would have a baby and she asked How On Earth would she be able to do that?

And what the angel said is one of those quotes that are written in the grooves of my mind, because I have repeated it that many times, to myself.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow You”

— This is the promise of God to Mary when she was asked to step into the unknown, and do and become far more than she knew herself to be.

 

And now Jesus is reminding – like truly putting the minds and heart and bodies of the disciples back together REMEMBERING

  • The power of the holy spirit is within them to do and become far more than they knew themselves to be.

 

Appearing to the disciples seemed to bring them relief, confidence, and a renewed sense of purpose,

  • in the midst of a still very dark time, filled with powerful unknowns,
  • threats to their security, and aLL the questions about what happens next

 

His appearance among them – seeing the wounds in his side and in his feet did not

Fix the anxiety of the moment.

  • But it did seem to shift it so they didn’t stay stuck in the moment

 

So, what are the signs of the holy Spirit that bring you relief and reassurance in the current moment of uncertainty about the future and anxiety about the current darkness, and general state of the world?

 

I wonder if Jesus would appear in our homes right now and affirm the pain and

Fears that we have right now

  • just as he told the disciples to look at the wounds in his hands and side, confirming the fear and darkness that they were all feeling.

 

Would Jesus bring relief – by saying –

Yes, I do see your wounds of grief of so many who have been lost,

Your plans cancelled, your whole way of life come undone.

I see the pain in your loneliness. I hear your desire to be face to face,

To feel actual presence.

I know you are afraid. I know you are afraid of what is to come, and all that

Might be lost, all that you have worked so hard to create.

 

You know why I love the angel’s response to Mary about how she will possibly be the mother of Jesus?

 

Because it isn’t all about her. She doesn’t have to make it all happen herself.

She doesn’t have to know exactly what to do or do it all correctly.

 

And this is true for us.

We are being asked to keep showing up

To faithfully walk and continue to walk forward in this time

Of deep unknowing and uncertainty.

 

“Receive the Holy Spirit” Jesus says to the frightened disciples.

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you”, the Angel says to frightened Mary.

 

Receive the Holy Spirit, Jesus says to us.

The Holy Spirit will come upon us all, and the power of the most high will overshadow us.

AMEN.