Go and Let Go

April 8, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

2nd Sunday of Easter
John 20:19-31

Listen here:

 

Gospel Text:

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.”

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

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 may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

2nd Sunday of Easter – RCL Year A
Acts 2:14a, 22-32; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen indeed, Alleluia!

On the morning of Good Friday I headed into Atlanta to participate in the Annual Ecumenical Good Friday Pilgrimage. Although the walk was to begin at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, near City Hall, I knew I needed to be here, at Christ Church, shortly after the walk was over, so, the perpetual planner that I am, I decided to park near the finishing point, at the Martin Luther King Center, and walk about a mile to the starting point.

http://jeffsdailypicture.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive.html

jeffsdailypicture.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive

After finding a place to park, I made my way up Edgewood Ave. on foot. At 8:30 in the morning, the sidewalks were mostly empty, but I did encounter a few folks as I walked toward town.

In my clericals, I was an unexpected sight to one man who stopped me along the way. He was working on a demolition project and told me about his struggles with a co-worker, perhaps with the hope that I might provide words of guidance to resolve his conflict. We talked for a few minutes, which I’m not sure was so helpful, but perhaps encouraging, and then I was back on my way.

A few blocks later I approached an intersection where three men stood, waiting for the light to change. One of them was drinking from an aluminum can wrapped in a small paper-bag. As he turned and saw me, he smiled what seemed a self-conscious smile. Yet when it was returned with a smile of my own, and a “Good morning” greeting, he relaxed a bit, and then asked expectantly, “Is God Good?”

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Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Sermon on John 20:19-31 given while serving as Deacon & Seminarian

Second Sunday in Easter – Year C RCL 

Acts 5:27-32, Revelation 1:4-8 & John 20:19-31

Last week, Ceci began her Easter sermon not with the joy of the resurrection, but first, she invited us to imagine the despair and confusion the disciples must have felt that first Easter morning. Although it’s impossible for us to fully imagine their feelings, participation in Holy Week allowed us to try…

Palm Sunday began with the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, with palm branches and hosannas. Yet, moments later, it quickly shifted to the Passion story, where we ourselves took part in the taunting cries of “Crucify Him!” On Maundy Thursday we remembered Jesus as servant, and then, followed his example by washing one another’s feet. In this act we embodied God’s message that we are to love one another. But then the tone shifted as the lights dimmed and the altar was stripped bare, like Jesus himself before his own crucifixion. On Friday we endured the three-hour vigil at the foot of the cross. Then that night, through a dramatic presentation, we were brought face-to-face with the agonizing walk and excruciating death of Jesus, ending with his burial in the tomb. On Saturday, we mourned.

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