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An unfading inheritance: April 3.

Acts 2:14, 22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31

The Sundays after Easter often can feel anticlimactic. We follow the events of the last week of Jesus' life and celebrate with great joy his rising from the dead, but what then?

We go on as before. Or do we? The readings of the Easter season are carefully chosen to point us beyond that post-Easter letdown. In a sense, the story--our story--is only just beginning. Jesus' death and resurrection is not simply a powerful event from 2,000 years ago; it spans centuries and changes our lives today. The text 1 Peter 1:3-4 reminds us that the death and resurrection of Jesus have given us a new birth into "a living hope" and "an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading." The story of Easter doesn't end on Easter day any more than it ended when Jesus rose from the dead. Instead the story reaches into the heart of our existence--challenging, transforming, and inspiring us afresh. The season of Easter should remind us that our lives will never be the same.

This also becomes clear in the reading from John's gospel. Here, when Jesus appears to the disciples he breathes the Holy Spirit on them and gives them the power to forgive or to retain sins (John 20:22-23). This is an immense responsibility. As Christians who live in the light of Jesus' resurrection, we are charged to live as Jesus in the world, recognizing sin and forgiving it. If we take this commission seriously, we are challenged to stand up to oppression, injustice, greed, and every other kind of sin.

This post-Easter season reminds us of the challenge given us by the risen and ascended Jesus. As such, it should be far from anticlimactic.
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Title Annotation:Living the word: reflections on the revised common lectionary, cycle A
Author:Gooder, Paula
Publication:Sojourners
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:299
Previous Article:The cost of faith.
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