Sermon - April 28, 2019 - St. Martin's In the Desert

Photo by Michael Morse from Pexels

Sermon – April 28, 2019

Sermon
April 28, 2019
Second Sunday of Easter
Year C

First Reading: Acts 5:27-32
Psalm 118:14-29

Second Reading: Revelation 1:4-8
Gospel: John 20:19-31

The first verse of Hymn 508

Breath on me, Breath of God, fill me with life a – new, that I may love what thou dost love, and do what those wouldst do.

Gospel (John 20:19-31)

Jesus didn’t just walk through the door he appeared among them.

Mary had just told them what Jesus had said to her.

Jesus see’s that they are “still” surprised and they are hiding in fear of the Jews,

He offers them the Hebrew greeting “Peace be with you”

Jesus is back with them, the Resurrection has happened, He holds out his hands, shows them the wounds from the nails and His pierced side.

He repeats “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.”

Jesus is telling them…now it’s your turn and

if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

Jesus is breathing new life into his disciples and telling them, they have a job to go and teach and do has he has done.

In (Act: 1:8)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Jude’s and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

They are filled with the “Holy Spirit”

controlled and empowered by their faith.

By these words, Jesus was suggesting,

“Though you have been with Me for 3 years and more, it is not enough that you have heard Me teach the multitudes, and have Me heal the Sick and even raise the dead.

You need to be empowered with the Holy Spirit in order to be effective and fruitful as My witnesses throughout the world.”

We know that it’s obvious we cannot on our own… have the power to accomplish these great works.

It is Christ Himself living in us and through the resurrection power.

Living in our minds, in our hearts speaking with our lips…he will impower us…

through the Holy Spirit, to accomplish these things.

The other story in this Gospel,

we all know the story of Thomas, the disciple that was not there when Jesus came the first time.

Thomas had trouble believing. Its not because he lacks faith and love for Jesus…he has defended Jesus before and is one of those who needs to see for himself.

Jesus comes again a week later and has Thomas

“Put your finger here and see my hands.

                                   Reach out your hand and put it in my side.

Do not doubt but believe.

                                  “My Lord and my God!”

Have you believed because you have seen me?

                       Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit places a believer into permanent union with Christ and with other believers in the Body of Christ.

Story:

Years ago, my father had developed Macular Degeneration, it is a devastating disease that robs people of their central vision. He had lost vision in one eye and now his other eye was showing signs of a problem, one of the signs is distortion in his vision, straight lines become crooked or waved.

They lived in Kingman, Arizona and I had moved to Las Vegas and had become acquainted with a Retina doctor (whom I later went to work for) I was bring dad to see him. I tried not to show my concerns to dad, but I knew if he lost the central vision in his other eye, it would be so hard for him to do the things he loved to do.

So, while driving through Vegas, just before we got to the doctor’s office, I prayed that God would please spare my dad’s central vision, I continued to pray for his help and suddenly at a red light, a white dove appeared out of know where and landed on the car in front of me, it wasn’t there long, but I felt my prayers had been answered.

The doctor did laser on my dad’s eye and the next day, my dad told me he could see, I “said” that’s impossible it does not work that fast dad! He “said” well, I don’t know, but I can see.

When dad saw the doctor for a follow up visit, the doctor “said”, I can’t believe it, the blood clot has moved away from his central vision, that is why he can see.

Did the Holy Spirit descend down as I prayed for healing?

The power of the Holy Spirit

Through Prayer and discernment, we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit

seeking out God’s truth in our lives and in the world around us, asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in whatever we need.

Conclusion:

In the consecration of the Bread and Wine, we call the Holy Spirit down upon the sacraments, sanctifying them and sanctify us also.

God loves us, and he sent his only Son to die on the cross for our sins. And now that we have the resurrection, we are given new life and hope for the world.

In our Gospel today; The Holy Spirit takes center stage and reminds us of the unique function of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit connects the believer to Christ. A Divine and Human connection and makes Jesus present to the church today.

Good news:

I believe that Unless our hearts are conditioned by the Holy Spirit to receive and reflect the warmth of God’s compassion, we cannot love others as we ought too.

So, as we Breath in the Holy Spirit of God…we can exhale the Compassion and Love that Christ has taught us.

Breath on me, Breath of God, fill me with life a – new, that I may love what thou dost love, and do what those wouldst do.

Amen
Rev. Lola Culbreath
April 28, 2018