1st Scripture Reading: Acts 5:27-32 & Psalm 150
Apparently the early disciples didn’t have a crisis of doubt about who Jesus was – once they had experienced the resurrection. Who do we think he was? What have we learned from this amazing account in our Christian scriptures?
Even under threat of death or even worse, these disciples were annoyingly persistent about telling people about Jesus. What good news would we be willing to share – even convinced we MUST share – in the face of persecution or death?
Have we taken any real personal time to establish for ourselves what our values are? What is so important for each of us that we would be willing to put our livelihood, our reputations, even our lives on the line for?
What new thing has God done in your life lately that you feel compelled to celebrate loudly and without constraint? I am moved this weekend by the beauty of spring bursting out all around me – the beauty and the sanctity of all of God’s Creation. This sacred trust we have been given: to honour and protect what God has given us. And part of what God has given us is the gift of Jesus Christ – his presence and his teachings. Let us join our voices to sing out our love for Jesus and our gratitude for the lessons of love he came to teach us.
Hymn #183 MV “I’m gonna shout, shout”
2nd Scripture Reading: John 20:19-31
Somehow these readings seem to be the wrong way around, don’t they? Chronologically, perhaps. But this reading challenges us to remember and to reflect upon the sober reality that sometimes precedes our moments of celebration.
“Joy comes with the dawn”. I remember the birth of my youngest son which took place in my mother’s house, surrounded by family and good friends. All night I laboured – and you women know that hard labour is not fun or easy for most of us. But in the early hours just before dawn, Kris was born. That work was done. The pain was over. My beautiful baby was in my arms and at my breast.
I remember that I walked out on the balcony and marvelled at the beauty of a world that was still there, a beautiful dawning that happened 44 years ago today, even tho I had been to some very difficult and dark place – a place that feels very close to death in those wee small hours. “Joy comes with the dawn” .
As a midwife in England I was often amazed at the resilience of women, who even after much harder and more dangerous births than I had, reached joyfully for their babies seconds after delivery.
I was also touched by the vulnerability of fathers as they supported and suffered with their partners thru long labours, and then had their hearts opened wide in those tender moments after the birth when they too met their babies for the first time.
But back to the disciples of Jesus, so strengthened by the power of the resurrection and the experience of his continued presence and influence in some form, that they could not be silent – could not keep this story to themselves. They were compelled to speak their truth – the truth that must not be hidden – that even the stones would cry out if they did not. Let’s sing.
Hymn #166 VU “Joy comes with the dawn”