12 April 2010

Easter 2 Sermon

Easter 2 Sermon
The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
11 April 2010

Jesus enters the house of fear and doubt.  In the moment of his entry, can we imagine Jesus standing in the midst of us, looking at us and seeing us in the way only God does?  Jesus says to them, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."  Our fear and doubt is put away. 
Then, like the breath of God over the face of the waters in the beginning of time, he breathes on us.   In Genesis, God created the natural world with his breath.  “Ruah!” Here in the house of fear and doubt, Jesus creates the new, spiritual life of his re-created disciples, us, re-created to do mission in the world.  Jesus says to us, "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." 
Jesus, who is sent (Apostello) by the Father, forgives and “sends away” (Aphiemie) sins.  Jesus is sent by the father so that Jesus might send away the sins of the world.  Jesus does this work initially through the disciples who are locked up in that house of fear and doubt.  Jesus breathes new life into us and sends us out to send away sins. 
In John’s Gospel, this is where the Holy Spirit makes its appearance.  It is here, in the community of the faithful that this third person of the Trinity enters, in order to empower, to encourage, and to transform these fearful individuals into a body of God’s faithful people.  From this upper room, locked with fear, the church is born. 

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