Homily for 2nd Sunday of Easter, John 20: 19-31
Sometimes you say to yourself: ‘the fire in me is going out’. But you were not the one who lit that fire. Your faith did not create God, and your doubts cannot banish Him. Br Roger of Taize
At this time of year, my phone makes one glorious error,
an amazing mistake,
and it’s so beautiful that
there’s nothing I can do about it.
Every time I try to type the word ‘Resurrection’
my phone changes it to ‘Insurrection’.
Thank you, auto-correct!
This one blessed glitch covers a multitude of your sins.
Yes, I believe
in the Holy and Glorious insurrection of Christ our God
against the forces of hell and death,
against all powers that crush the poor,
against the demons of guilt and despair,
I believe in the Resurrection of Christ our God
And yes, I know,
that we pray this morning for the policemen gunned down in Paris, and for our sister and brother Christians in Cairo, blown up on their way to Church.
We’re used to weeping over such things.
Over the last year, I’ve got used to going to Cardiff Bay for a rally or vigil to commemorate some senseless act of terrorism or cowardice. When you go to such events, you get this powerful sense of people coming together from all backgrounds to show solidarity and support for one another. A leader will always ask for a moment of silence, and we light candles, and the leader will tell us that love is stronger than hate, that light is stronger than darkness,
and it’s then,
that I always have a doubting Jesse moment.
Why should I believe that?
They’re beautiful words, but what makes them true?
It seems to me that,
in this world,
that kind of love is unwanted, out-voted or out-gunned.
Some tell me that absolutely nothing makes a universe.
Well then, maybe the sheer force of nothing
makes love stronger than hate
– or maybe it’s the moon, or the stars, or the force of gravity
or enough likes on Facebook.
You see if you tell me, “I don’t believe in God’
I will say, ‘then in what do you believe?”
Deep in your wounded heart, it’s the silent voice of faith that makes you a rebel. It’s the enduring memory of God that makes you rise again.
Those rallying words aren’t just pretty things to say. They’re true, because Someone has made them true. On Good Friday, Jesus took on the forces of psychic darkness; He held in His hands all that hell and death could throw at Him.
snd He rose again.
The Resurrection, the insurrection, has begun
and there’s nothing that hell or death or sin can do about it.
Sure, they’ll have theit moments, their appalling days, their savage little victories. But on that Good Friday, on that bit of waste ground outside Jerusalem,
the deciding battle was fought and won.
The Day of Christ’s Resurrection, of Christ’s Insurrection,
shows us, in the flesh, what is, and what shall be.
So yes, there’ll be pain, set-backs and defeats, but there’s only one way this war is going to end.
Just like the disciples, we try to hide behind walls and bolted doors,
and the Resurrection just walks right in anyway,
‘Sorry, have I called at a bad moment?’
We try to shut God out. We betray Him, we deny Him, tell Him that we give up on Him,
He seeks and He knocks, and He finds,
and His first words are ‘Peace, do not be afraid. It is I’
We tell ourselves that we can no longer believe because of the agony of the world, and Christ our God holds out His hands and says, ‘Here are my wounds, Here are the nail marks. Doubt no longer, dare to believe’
The Resurrection, the Insurrection, has come,
and it’s so glorious that there’s nothing that you or anyone else can do about it. God will not take your no or your unbelief for an answer. He has come, He has come for you.
Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἀνάστασις
I am the Insurrection, says the Lord.
I make all things new, beginning with you,
and starting from today.