Alive again

21 Apr

Hello Friends,

The evolution of blogging on the scriptures for the coming week is something that is easy and helpful for me. So, you can read and enjoy my meandering.

On the Sunday after Easter the gospel is always the same; John 20:19-31. So, if your counting that’s about 30 reading of this text over my ministry!! The one I remember most was trying to prepare a confirmation class to lead worship on Sunday after Easter. I was trying to teach them what this text meant and had them repeat it until it started to dawn on them what was going this first day of Jesus’ resurrection. I have had the text stuck in my head ever since.

The thing that has always amazed me about the passage is that Jesus’ first words to the ones had deserted him and betrayed him was, “peace be with you”.

19-20 Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.

20-21 The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”

22-23 Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”

This is the ‘Pentecost’ event for the gospel of John. It is here that the disciples are empower with the Holy Spirit. The disciples are to be sent by God as Jesus was sent. It seems as through that would have been fairly scary since where God has sent Jesus had gotten him killed.

Then, the disciples are given the power to forgive sins as Jesus did – forgiving people with God-power. So, not just a, “O, that’s OK,” but, “You are forgiven and made whole by the power of God.” That’s big time. It is interesting that the second half of verse 23 in the New Revised Standard Version says, “if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” Which I was thought was a little harsh and too much power for a human being. But, The Message paraphrases it as, “If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” Which is a really good question. It also leaves me with the feeling that any un-forgiven sin has no place in the world; at least not around the one who are following in Jesus footsteps.

So, I think that is our assignment for the day. Consider any un-forgiven sins that are hanging around your heart and mind and ask God to take them. Now, these are not things that you need forgiveness for – that’s just a you and God thing. These are un-forgiven sins that involve others. People who need your forgiveness; because, “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” Peace.

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