Sunday, April 03, 2016

Easter 2C

John 20:19-31

19When 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.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Creation – Resurrection – Forgiveness – New Creation: Work of the HS

Some numerology:

easter is 50 days, 7x7, a weeks of weeks; "7" is the number of perfection in Hebrew numerology. The day of Pentecost is the 50th day of Easter. pentagram, pentagon, etc.

Day of Resurrection is:

• 1st day of the week, day after the Sabbath, therefore, the 1st day of creation.

• 3rd day after Friday—a day or part of a day is considered an entire day; also, Semitic languages have no word for some, a few, several, so they use the expedient 3.

• 8th day of the week = 1st day of a new week; therefore, the day of a new creation

Bright Week, the week after Easter Sunday just ended. The church celebrates Bright Week as the 8th day if creation.

Many baptismal fonts have 8 sides (octagon) and demonstrate our baptism into the new creation, our baptism as a new creation In Jesus' death and resurrection.

The new creation is not pristine: it carries scars from our old lives. Today's text from John shows us Jesus' scars.

The order of the new creation subverts the order of the old:

• God calls, names, A-dam
• Jesus calls names, Mary

Spirit and Word: Creation essentials—texts from the Easter Vigil

Genesis 1:1-3

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Ezekiel 37:1-14

4Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: "O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.'" 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: "I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live." 14"I will put my spirit within you and you shall live"

prophesy – word – dabar
breath, spirit, wind = same root

Today's Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31 really is two pericopes or passages.

Greek is the same word where English translations read shut, or locked
Locked: gates, minds, hearts, churches

Thomas: disbelief in the scandal of the crucifixion! not disbelief in resurrection from the dead (John brings us Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead for the last story prior to Jesus' trial and execution). Gnostic trends and influences that denied the reality of the body were making rounds at the time of this text.

Peace: 3 times in 12 verses. Forgiveness, new beginnings.

John 20:22 Jesus breathed on them, "Receive the HS." The only other place in the Greek bible that uses that word for breath is Genesis 2:7.

"God formed A-dam out of dust and breathed into him the breath of life." Humans carry the breath, spirit, wind [words have the same root] of the Divine within them.

Barbara: why do we have this account of the HS and also the account of the day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts?

Me: John brings us a different worldview from the synoptics Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It's interesting that Luke wrote both a gospel and the book of Acts, the HS is prominent through Luke's gospel, yet he brings us a detailed account of the coming of the HS in Acts.

John 20:21 As the Father has sent me, so I send you.

Second calling of the Apostles – literally "sent people" – three days after Friday. Moses, Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Apostles, Jesus...

God sends us—where? In the power of the HS, clothed with power from on high.

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