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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Today’s Reading | John 20:19–23

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “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.” (NRSV)


Reflection

Imagine yourself in the disciples’ sandals: Your teacher, mentor, and friend was crucified. You are grieving. You are frightened. You’re not sure how to go on living.

Suddenly Jesus is with you. He is showing you his pierced hands. He embraces you—he is alive! All you want to do is spend time with your beloved teacher. You’ve missed him so much, and it feels so comfortable. But if you’ve learned anything from being his disciple, you know Jesus must be back with a purpose, and his teachings were seldom easy.

He tells you it is now your time to go out in the world and bear witness to God’s saving grace. Just as God sent him, now Jesus is sending you out into the world, away from him and your fellow disciples. Your heart skips a beat.

Then the most amazing thing happens: Jesus breathes out his Holy Spirit and suddenly you aren’t scared like you thought you’d be. You feel at peace and know in your heart that you are wise and brave enough to embark on this new journey on your own.

There are moments when you can hear God’s call just as clearly and as strongly as the disciples did after Jesus’ resurrection. Other times it’s just a whisper that builds and builds and builds until you recognize it. And other times still you feel like the disciples did before Jesus’ return—afraid and alone.

Hear the good news: You are called. You are called by God to go out into the world and love one another, to tell others about our loving God, and to make the best of this precious life that you were given.


Prayer

Father in heaven, as you sent your Son into the world, so you send us to bear witness to your life, death, and resurrection. Embolden me to be your disciple and to heed your sending all the days of my life. In your name I pray. Amen.


Written by Erin Strybis, Associate Director for Resource Development Communications


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