April 24, 2016

Easter 4 Sermon 2016

Series: ,
Passage: James 1:20
Service Type:

I would like to begin our reflections this morning by inviting us to cast our minds back to the Gospel lesson for the Sunday after Easter. Though for us it was one week after Easter, the reading placed us on the evening of Easter day itself. (The suggestion was that all of Easter week was meant to be experienced as a single day, an allusion to heaven’s eternal Sabbath rest.) The disciples were hiding in an upper room, the doors were locked and the windows barred for fear that they might suffer the same fate as did Jesus. It was in that room that Jesus then appeared – Peace, he proclaimed. He then showed them his wounds and, breathing out the Holy Spirit, commissioned the Church to retain and to absolve sins. The Kingdom he had come to establish, it was made clear, had something to do with forgiveness, with the healing and the restoration of souls.

I invite us to cast our minds back to that room because one week after Easter it represented not only an historical reality, not simply a room visited by the resurrected Lord 2000 years ago, but above, all the human heart. The doors are locked, the windows barred, there are fear and loneliness, regrets, violences and betrayals remembered. The room is shut up tight, hardened you might say. As the room, so the heart: shut up tight. It is in that room – which is to say, in our hearts – that the Lord has been appearing Sunday by Sunday this Eastertide in order to describe his resurrected life....

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