John 20: 19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
After the resurrection of Jesus on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared before them with a powerful message. Jesus comforts their fear by speaking to them his peace and by showing them the scars on his hands and side. We have no reason to fear because Jesus has conquered death, hell and the grave. Then Jesus speaks his true message not only to his disciples then but also to his disciples of today. Jesus breaths on them to receive the Holy Spirit with the power to preach forgiveness of sins to all people. Just as God sent Jesus to reconcile people back to him, Jesus is sending us with power to continue his message of hope and reconciliation. We all must be forgiven to receive new life in Christ.
Father thank you for the gift of forgiveness through Jesus the Christ. Awaken us by the power of your Holy Spirit to give your message of love, hope and forgiveness to our fearful world. If you are to heal our land, we must humble ourselves with repentance and follow you through the wilderness onward to the promised land. We seek you in Jesus’ name, amen.