2nd Sunday Easter 2014
It is an amazing journey isn’t it? Did you ever think you would be where you are this moment…in this space, with these companions?
On Easter Sunday I invited us as a community to see if we could bring to our awareness those Bread Moments that flood our lives…those moments that maybe God is surprisingly present if only we take the time to see.
You see my friends in many ways we as a community are much like the ancient early Church…
We gather together and we do what we have always done as people of faith,
we proclaim God’ Word,
we sing psalms and hymns of praise and thanksgiving;
we break bread and share a cup….
Because in those things we know that we have come to recognize Christ in our midst!
Sometimes we are fearful…much like those early disciples were who were gathered in that upper room…we, like they realize in some way, either implicitly or explicitly that we are on the verge of something new and something almost unimaginable!
I can feel it….
I have heard others feeling it as well.
I have listened deeply to the invitation of the Holy Spirit as that Sacred Breath of God blows among us.
New opportunities are afoot.
New understandings are developing.
New faith is being born.
New insights are on the horizon and coming into view.
We are being Church in the 21st Century in a new way…and in an ancient way as well….
Someone asked me years ago what the Church will look like in the next century….and all I could say is this….
Make no mistake the Church will always be….because the Church is the People of God gathered together in prayer and thanksgiving, proclaiming the Word, breaking bread and sharing the cup…
That I am convinced will never change…because we will always do the things that we know in which we will experience the living God…
I can not tell anyone what the structure of the Church will look like in the next century with any certitude other than this…it will look different than it does right now…because the Holy Spirit never stops the relentless pursuit of transformation!
That reality can cause us to do what the early disciples did….to gather in fear…shut the door and lock ourselves in the prison of denial and the chains of apprehension…
But make no mistake my friends….into those rooms and through the doors of even our deepest fear God walks in and says…Peace….Peace be with you….
The resurrection…It changes every thing…. the resurrection…Christ’s appearance to those disciples changed not only their lives, but the very course of history and it will continue to change ours as well.
We can find ourselves like the early disciples…filled with apprehension, doubt, and fear…
but the Risen Christ reminds us that we have nothing to fear….
we have a purpose, we all are attending to the same goal, each with our own gifts, each with our own talents are pointing to and working together to reach the same goal.
What is our purpose…
what is that goal….
we hear it at the beginning of every liturgy…..
We heard it in our Gospel today as well…
Jesus said..as God has sent me…so I am sending you…
Our primary purpose is to spread the Good News of God’s unending grace and love for all!
It is profoundly simple, and yet
in the very same breath it is a task that will pull us and push us to the edges of our certitudes
and invite us to step into a future that we don’t fully understand or even clearly see.
Such a journey…is not easy…
we often make that mistake in understanding faith…
as if we believe and pray and do what we are called to do then we will be blest…
and we will be my friends,
but being blest does not mean being free of conflict, challenge, struggle, pain or our wounds….
being blest means knowing that in and through all of that…
God is with us…
God is here and there is no door…
no place that we can hide from the hound of heaven….
God’s grace and love will always triumph if we allow it to transform our fear.
So this week when we find ourselves wanting to lock the doors, and shutter our hearts in fear and apprehension and certitude…maybe we can stop and simply repeat the words of our Gospel today….Peace be with you…as God has sent me..so I send you!