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Fear…

June 9, 2014

Has anyone experienced fear? A fear that causes us not to act in the manner we know we should. Whether it is standing up for what is right or standing with those that are powerless. I know that I have. Sometimes fear can turn into terror.

Has anyone been so terrified from a dream, or at least you are praying that it is a dream? It is a feeling that can separate us from the world and hide from life. Fear can be a part of the human condition. Much like those in our lesson today. The disciples were gathered in the house and the doors were locked. Those gathered in this place has just experienced a nightmare while they were wide awake. The disciples had Jesus torn away from them. Jesus was beaten. Jesus was crucified right in front of some of their eyes. They were afraid that they could be next.

So… they hid. They hid behind a locked door. The phrase we have in our text that has always puzzled and amused me was the reason they were lock inside the house was that they were afraid of the “Jews.”

Really?

Who exactly in this part of our story was not Jewish?

Each person would have still considered themselves to be Jewish.

So… were they afraid of themselves? No. They were afraid of the Temple Authorities and the Roman Authorities. However, the author of the Gospel according to John artfully uses symbols over and over again. The doors were locked. Jesus is the gate/ door keeper. Also we are told that evening was at hand and it was dark. Darkness in this Gospel is a place of not knowing and being separated from the Light. However, Jesus, the Light the gatekeeper, comes to be in their midst to abide with the disciples again. But Jesus is not how they knew him before… Jesus is resurrected and fully transfigured into the new Jesus. Jesus was still abiding with them… and Jesus is still abiding with us. Jesus abides with the disciples and by breathing the Holy Spirit upon those gathered in the house. Now the Holy Spirit abides with those in the house, and still breathes the Holy Spirit on us today.

So, what do we have to fear? Nothing.  Jesus took away the sting of death. Jesus has turned the powers that be upside down.

Jesus  offers everyone peace and through the Holy spirit offers us the opportunity to make a difference in our broken world. All we have to do, is receive these gifts and we are provided the chance to do GREAT things in and for the Kingdom of God. All we have to do… all we have to do is to take that leap of faith and receive these gifts. If we receive these gifts, we will be ready for the mission field set before us. Jesus sent forth his disciples on this day in the first century and still sends us forth today. At our Annual Conference, our Bishop challenged each congregation to be a mission station. We have to follow the example of our fore-mothers and fore-fathers to abide in Jesus, so that we can bring people to see the  vision of the Kingdom of God breaking forth all around us and maybe we can see glimpses of Jesus in them also.

If we truly receive the gifts that God offers, we will have no choice but to share them with the world. The gifts we receive from God will bubble up inside each one of us and we will automatically want to share them with the world. Even when we are afraid of the brokenness of the world, these gifts will transform us into the likeness of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Let us not be afraid of sharing Jesus with those we meet on our journeys. We can share the love we have received through our actions. If we do we, will be transformed into Jesus’ likeness and we will show the world we are not afraid to be different, that we are really followers of Jesus.

 

 

Let us Pray.

Creator God we bless you for the day you have given us. May the life we share in Jesus Christ bring others to the knowledge of his redemptive love for the world, and may we daily receive the Holy Spirit and transform us into the people we are called to be. Give us strength to be for the world glimpses to your justice and your kingdom breaking forth at every turn. We ask this for your name’s sake. Amen.

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From → jimmyahornjr

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