Collect and Readings for Sunday 11th April 2021 Year B Exodus 14.10-end;15.20-21, Psalm 133, 1 John 1.1-2.2, Acts 4.32-35, John 20.19-end
The Prayer for today Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
If we are travelling along dark roads at night and trust the road surface, we probably drive quite quickly and confidently. However, if we are driving along roads we know to be full of potholes we would approach it quite differently, gingerly approaching and peering into the darkness, so as to avoid damaging us or the car. What we believe affects the way we behave.
On this second Sunday of Easter the readings lead us to recognise that belief in a risen crucified Christ is bound to change things. With the Resurrection we know, more completely than ever before, that God is to be trusted, God is light without any darkness at all, and, what is more, we can share in that companionship of light and freedom with the living God.
In the reading from Acts we are shown a few snapshots of how this worked out in practice for the early believers. We find them united in a common purpose, without in-house arguments, and free from possessiveness; individual belongings no longer seem important to them as their concern for one another’s needs has taken over. Central to all this is the fact that they are still excited and amazed by the Resurrection; they are conscious of the risen Jesus living among them in person.
Do we, as a Christian community, live in that conviction, or has the Resurrection, over the years, turned into history for us? As we reflect on these Easter readings, they can light up our faith again; rather like turning up the thermostat on the heating, so that instead of just the quiet, steady pilot light burning away, the whole boiler flames into action. The risen Jesus walks into any gathering in any age, even those who have locked themselves in. And the meeting with Thomas, a week after the others have met Jesus, show us clearly that he is quite prepared to start with us where we are, addressing our particular fears, doubts and misgivings and leading us at a pace we can cope with, into the fullness of faith.
In our Lent Book by Hannah Steele, ‘Living His Story’ this is exactly what we as evangelists or witnesses need to do in our everyday lives, meet people where they are, build relationships and show them that we have seen the risen Christ and share His joy and unconditional love.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Christ is Risen.
God bless and stay safe and well
Rev’d Fiona Robinson