4.29.2011

Second Sunday of Easter, Year A

Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

A quick note on the structure of Lectionary readings: During the 50 days of Eastertide, the lectionary forgoes readings from the Hebrew scripture and instead pulls in readings about the "resurrection" of the earliest Christians in the wake of Jesus' death and resurrection.

Well now what?

For weeks, the paparazzi have been focused on the impending nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. There have been countdowns and speculation, blogs and bets. And as this is being written at 8:14 on April 29, 2011, the ceremony is over, the couple duly declared husband and wife, and they have returned to Buckingham Palace for a full day of toasting and posing and smiling. But really, the deed is done. They are wed in the eyes of the church and the law. All the rest is window dressing.

After a week of preparation that began on Palm/Passion Sunday with shouts of Hosanna and the waving of palms, continued through the breaking of bread and sharing of cup, the snuffing of candles, the persecution, trial, and suffering of Jesus, the crucifixion, death and burial, we entered into the dawn of Easter Sunday proclaiming a risen Christ. Resurrection happens.

Well now what?

Here in the 50 days of Eastertide, our readings have us reflecting on that very question.

In Acts, Peter is "recentering" the disciples, who we can imagine after experiencing the risen Christ are still struggling to make sense of what has happened and what it means for their motley band of evangelists and teachers. Part of Peter's comforting reminder to them is to connect what they have experienced back to the fabric of their faith tradition - the understanding that a messiah would emerge from the Davidic line. He reminds them of their importance as witnesses to the fulfillment of this age old prophecy.

The psalmist really addresses the choices that humans face - thousands of years ago as today. We can imagine that many were faced with choices after the resurrection - to believe? to follow? to continue a movement?

In the epistle 1 Peter, the writer greets his audience reminding them of what they have inherited in the resurrection. This is a new beginning, as God has promised time and time again. These are not people who actually encountered the presence of the living Christ, but they are gathered as believers. How are they going to live out their belief?

Finally in John's gospel we encounter the story about the notorious "doubting Thomas." But this year, our attention was captured by Jesus' early act while he is with some of the disciples. Jesus breathes the holy spirit into the gathered and essentially commissions them - empowering them to forgive. And that commissioning is for us too...we are infused with the holy spirit and commissioned to be agents of forgiveness and peace.

Easter is NOT one day on the calendar. We might even suggest Easter is not a function of chronological time. Perhaps Easter is an attitude of accepting, knowing and sharing resurrection power? And so, what next? How do we live Easter?

God, I am going to try again this year.
I am going to try to not take
You for granted.
I am going to try to
be aware of the
Love I receive
and
the Love I give.
I have not been
super successful at this in the past.
But I am going to
try
again
this
year.
Amen.

© matt & laura norvell 2011 www.settingourstones.org we want to share this with you and hope you'll share with the world; we simply ask that you let people know where you found these words. May Grace & Peace be with you.

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