A Story to Embody: The Second Sunday of Easter

The verses for today are powerful; looking at unity between the body and what true forgiveness looks like.  As we turn from the wonder of the cross and ask, "What does it mean for our everyday lives?" what better place to look?  We were freed to live in love, unity and blessings with others.  As the picture above visually demonstrates, forgiveness and love provide wide open spaces for us to run in freedom.

Acts 4:32-35
 32 The group of believers were united in their hearts and spirit. All those in the group acted as though their private property belonged to everyone in the group. In fact, they shared everything.33 With great power the apostles were telling people that the Lord Jesus was truly raised from the dead. And God blessed all the believers very much. 34 There were no needy people among them. From time to time those who owned fields or houses sold them, brought the money, 35 and gave it to the apostles. Then the money was given to anyone who needed it.

Psalm 133
 It is good and pleasant
when God's people live together in peace!
2 It is like perfumed oil poured on the priest's head
and running down his beard.
It ran down Aaron's beard
and on to the collar of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Mount Hermon
falling on the hills of Jerusalem.
There the Lord gives his blessing
of life forever.

I John 1:1-2:2
We write you now about what has always existed, which we have heard, we have seen with our own eyes, we have looked at, and we have touched with our hands. We write to you about the Word that gives life. 2 He who gives life was shown to us. We saw him and can give proof about it. And now we announce to you that he has life that continues forever. He was with God the Father and was shown to us.3 We announce to you what we have seen and heard, because we want you also to have fellowship with us. Our fellowship is with God the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to you so we may be full of joy.
God Forgives Our Sins
5 Here is the message we have heard from Christ and now announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 So if we say we have fellowship with God, but we continue living in darkness, we are liars and do not follow the truth.7 But if we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. Then the blood of Jesus, God's Son, cleanses us from every sin.
8 If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.10 If we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and we do not accept God's teaching.
Jesus Is Our Helper
1 My dear children, I write this letter to you so you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a helper in the presence of the Father—Jesus Christ, the One who does what is right. 2 He died in our place to take away our sins, and not only our sins but the sins of all people.

John 20:19-31
19-20Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you." Then he showed them his hands and side.

20-21The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: "Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you."

22-23Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said. "If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"

24-25But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, "We saw the Master."

But he said, "Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won't believe it."

26Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you."

27Then he focused his attention on Thomas. "Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don't be unbelieving. Believe."

28Thomas said, "My Master! My God!"

29Jesus said, "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."

30-31Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.

In Christ,

Photo courtesy Melanie Guest Photography

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