JOHN 20:19-23

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Kimberly Beyer-Nelson

Focusing Scripture:  John 20:19-23

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

By what sign can we find You now?
My fireplace is empty,
cold ashes grey against the stone
And rain runs in rivulets down pollen-dirty glass.

You showed them Your hands,
Your side, blood steeped in peace, 
You told them twice
Peace be with you.
Peace is with you. 

If I open my window now, 
Strain to push it uphill against
A long winter and the swell of age
Will I feel Your breath on my face
The same that tugs at the cedars, 
The same that whips my horse’s mane into tangles
The same that pulled down the power lines last night
And gave us an exquisite evening of candle-lit silence? 

And if I inhale this tricky, powerful, playful, awesome breath, 
Will I be able to hear into the depth of Your words-- 
And know that, without a doubt, 
I must be, then, a vehicle for Your forgiveness, 
Must enter into a sacred trust
Like when you said, “Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself?” 
Who would you not forgive? And more terrible and insistent
Who must I?