Easter 2, Year C April 28, 2019

Title:Easter 2, Year C April 28, 2019

 Easter 2, April 28, 2019 (full size gallery)

We were pleased to welcome guest preacher the Rev. David Casey at both services today.

From the Bulletin – “Rev. Casey is the Young Adult Missioner for St. George’s, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Christ Church Lutheran, a position sponsored by the three churches, the Fredericksburg Region, and the Diocese of Virginia. He also serves as the Chaplain for the Episcopal Lutheran Campus Ministries at University of Mary Washington and Germanna Community College. David is a graduate of the Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained as a priest in June 2018. He is also a novice in Anglican Dominicans (Order of Preachers), a religious order in The Episcopal Church devoted to teaching, preaching, daily prayer,and community. ”

During the announcements he explained the “O.P” after his name and his membership in the Dominican Order

His sermon is here as well in the collection of sermons:

We had 6 at 9am and 34 at 11am. Both services included an announcement about the MS Walk next Sat at Shiloh Baptist, 8:30am registration.

Johnny thanked Phil Fitzhugh for painting the wooden fence on the backside.

Today’s readings, the first during Eastertide, celebrate the power of the risen Christ demonstrated in the faith and life of the early Christian community. In Acts, we witness the burgeoning growth of the infant Church. John, in his Revelation, attests to the love of the triumphant Christ for the faithful. In today’s gospel, Jesus promises greater blessings for those who believe in him though they do not see him.

Acts 5:27-32 is a summary section, one of three thus far in Acts (also 2:42-47 and 4:32-35), has as its theme the powerful signs and wonders of the apostles. They meet in the temple and attract a growing crowd.

Many of these believers are from outside the Jerusalem area and take their new faith with them when they return to their homes, thus seeding the Christian message throughout the Mediterranean basin. Peter’s healing of the sick demonstrates the fulfillment of the apostolic prayer in Acts 4:30.

When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.”

The second reading Revelation 1:4-8 forms the introduction to Revelation, weaving together Old Testament images and themes shaped by the worship experience of the Church. Verses 9-20 introduce the first section of the book (1:9–3:22), the seven letters to the churches. The number seven stands for wholeness, completeness and unity. The seven churches are symbolized by seven golden lampstands, among which Jesus is present at the center.

Details of the description of “one like the son of man” reflect those of the angel in Daniel 10:5-6, the high priest in Exodus 28:4, the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9, and the cherubim and the glory of God in Ezekiel 1:5-6, 24 and 43:2. The two-edged sword is the word of God. The Risen One assigns his task—to write the vision of the true meaning of past, present and future.

The Gospel, John 20:19-31 the first appearance of the risen Lord to the disciples (the first of the two appearances in today’s reading) is described somewhat differently in each gospel. John stresses Jesus’ fulfillment of the promises made in the great Farewell Discourse. He has returned, bringing peace and joy. He shows his wounds to establish that the crucified Jesus and the risen Christ are one and the same.

Jesus then gives the disciples a commission and breathes the Holy Spirit upon them. This is the “new creation” of humanity and the transmission of Jesus’ divine life to the Church. On the Church then, Jesus bestows the power to mediate divine forgiveness.

Thomas personifies the element of doubt recorded in the other gospel accounts. He will not accept the word of others but wishes to probe the miraculous. Yet, when Jesus comes near, Thomas forgets his doubts and penetrates the meaning behind the marvel, making the full affirmation of Christian faith by giving Jesus the ultimate title of God.

Thomas appearance in the Gospel is important as it helps rule out the idea that the resurrection was merely hallucination, or the fond, false hope of disappointed disciples. In Echoing God’s Word, Jim Dunning calls John’s post-resurrection accounts “healing memories.” Both Peter and Thomas show how “a broken past can resurface and be redeemed.” Had Thomas suppressed his questions and joined mindlessly in the general hoopla, he might have missed the chance to experience personally the paschal mystery of dying and rising.

From Julian of Norwich, a 14th century writer, “With a kindly countenance our good Lord looked in to his side, and he gazed with joy, and with his sweet regard he drew his creature’s understanding into his side by the same wound; and there he revealed a fair and delectable place, large enough for all mankind that will be saved and will rest in peace and in love.”