Spirit & Life

Be Open and Receive

John 20:19-31
It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”
In his disciples’ presence, Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. But these have been written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.

There is nothing quite like it. Receiving the Spirit fills your life with a warming peace, a gentle certainty, and grounded presence. You are entwined with Kairos time, God’s time, what has been, what is, and what is yet to come (Rev 1:4). The disciples’ grieving is raw, their uncertainty strong, and Jesus’ unexpected presence combines joy and doubt. These human characteristics exemplify our faith journey. John 20:31 captures this continuing faith renewal, ‘so that you may come to believe, to understand more deeply, to experience an awakening again. God’s Spirit sits lightly in this anxious space. Jesus stands amongst us, greets us with peace, and sends us out as we follow his Way. The Spirit Advocate fills us, centers us with a mindfulness of God’s eternal Love, Wisdom and kindness. Be open and receive.

Prayer of Confession
Calming Spirit,
Settle in our hearts, clear our minds and still our body,
For we are far away and wish to draw close to you.
A moment of stillness

Jesus, we are distracted by noisy busyness, tasks to complete,
and timetables with expectations that weigh heavily upon us.
We are so sorry that we are so easily turned away from you.
We miss your voice in the noisiness.
Our distracted vision cannot see your face in that of the stranger
The acts of our busy hands focus on self, rather than healing others with care.
We unburden ourselves to you.
A moment of prayer

Yet, in the midst of this, you greet us with peace.
We seek your yoke, your Way of Living
so that we follow your call
and live in your presence.
God of Wisdom, renew our lives again.

Words of Assurance
Jesus stands amongst us, saying ‘Peace be with you’.
God’s love is present now, before and into our future.
The Spirit fills us and surrounds us always.
From the beginning to ending of our journey
We are loved and known, renewed and supported
as we are sent on our faith filled walk with God.
Peace be with you
And also with you

© Rev Anne Hewitt 20/04/2022
This reflection & prayer may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.

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Kilkenny, 5009

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Rev Anne Hewitt
0475 016 789

0477 019 163

Churches Together SA acknowledge the traditional custodians who have cared for this land for centuries.

We pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging across the many Nations of this Country.