No Door Is Locked

Author: 
Revd. Heather
Date: 
Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 9:30am

Collect

Risen Christ,
for whom no door is locked, no entrance barred: open the doors of our hearts,
that we may seek the good of others
and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace, to the praise of God the Father.

Readings

Acts 2:14a, 22-32 John 20:19-end

Reflection

What a wonderfully apt collect prayer we have this week. As we each gather behind the closed doors of our homes, we are reminded that for the Risen Christ no door is locked, no entrance barred... Christ comes to meet with us, opening the doors of our hearts.

The confession and absolution forms a powerful part of our worship together. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the ways in which we struggle to live out our faith and to ask for God’s strength to renew us, once again, going forward.

One of the things I really value about the stories of the disciples in the Gospels is their humanity. They are ordinary people, and just like us, they are sometimes afraid, they sometimes make choices they might later regret. And yet Jesus still loves them, and offers them words of comfort and hope.

It’s hard to begin to imagine the range of emotions that the disciples must have been going through in their grief of having lost their good friend, and master, Jesus. Not only had they witnessed him be crucified, but in those final hours they had deserted him. When confronted by the servant girl, Peter even denied knowing Jesus. After Jesus’ death, it was not any of the twelve that came to the cross to take down and care for Jesus’ body – that was two disciples on the periphery Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

Yet, even following their desertion, Jesus does not forget his disciples. His love for them continues. And he seeks them out as they gather together in the house, greeting them not with anger or frustration, but with reconciliation: ‘Peace be with you.’ Moreover, He breathes the Holy Spirit upon them, and gives them the promise that ‘if you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven’; a promise that he embodies there and then.

Like those first disciples, we too are invited to open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit and the promise of God’s forgiveness. Of that promise that God will wipe clean the slate once again, and renew our strength going forwards.

Sometimes that promise – that promise that the risen Jesus is with us, loves us, forgives us – can feel almost too good to be true. It did for Thomas all those years ago. Thomas who needed to see the risen Jesus to believe that he was with him going forward. We too may have had our doubts – but Jesus comes to us again and again, asking us to welcome him into our hearts. To know his forgiveness and see his love inspire our lives. And so, despite being behind our individual doors today, may we continue to welcome Christ to come and meet with us and open the doors of our hearts.