Pastor Matthew’s reflections for the 2nd Sunday after Easter 2021:

Hallelujah...He is risen!

In today’s verses, as will be the case throughout Easter, we hear about the Holy Spirit being gifted to the disciples and the small community of believers around them. In today’s Acts reading this imputation of the Holy Spirit is particularly to give the disciples boldness in their proclamation of Jesus as the risen Messiah. We also hear about sin, in the epistle reading we hear the verse many of us are so familiar with:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Reading this here brings to mind my sense that our "modern" sensibility resists talk of sin and the condition of sinfulness. We are in a time where the whole notion that there is something we should be confessing and seeking forgiveness from is antiquated, and that to believe we have sinned somehow is to debase ourselves. We should resist this idea whenever we hear it and use it as an occasion to reflect me deeply on the ways we have "not loved our neighbour as ourselves". Christian community is not possible without this earnest reflection and hope for the Christian is not possible without God's response to it...forgiveness, restoration and peace.

When Jesus enters the upper room, locked and barred against those who are seeking the disciples’ lives, the first thing He says is "Peace be with you"...not "hey, where did you all run off to when they started torturing and killing me?!" but immediately "peace be with you". This is the character of our God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Hallelujah...He is risen indeed!!