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Having God Fill Your Life with His Peace and Presence

Keith Acker SSC's picture

Having God Fill Your Life with His Peace and Presence

            In the Resurrection God fills the emptiness of our lives, puts his energy, his grace, into our lives. But how does that come about? How do we know God’s will in our making decisions, in spending our time, and in our using our resources, so that God will fill our lives?

            Today is known as Thomas Sunday. On the Sunday after his resurrection Jesus comes to his disciples saying “Peace,” and showing them his hands and the spear wound in his side. The two are connected. Jesus was present in that upper room. Jesus brings peace with his presence.

            If you want Jesus to fill your life get to a place where Jesus will be present. This community, Blessed Trinity Church is about being a place where Jesus is present. It is no coincidence that Holy Communion is the principle service of worship here and throughout the two thousand years of the life of the Church. This is a place where Jesus comes and is present. It was what the disciples knew at supper after their walking the road to Emmaus. The disciples didn’t know it was Jesus,

When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. Luke 24.30-31  

            From the time I was in younger grade school, what I knew was Jesus would be there when I came to Holy Communion, before I was admitted to Holy Communion. And even on days when the prayers seemed long—Jesus would come. What mattered was not “how could this be?” but it was His peace and presence.

            I would like every Sunday to be one of those times where Jesus’ presence fills my life and those around me. Fortunately, Jesus’ being present doesn’t depend on how I’m feeling today! Jesus’ being known and giving his grace doesn’t depend on if I’m tired, distracted, energized, or spiritually attuned, on a spiritual high.

            What matters is being where Jesus is present. The point of today’s Gospel is not that Thomas was there, but that Jesus was! You may not have been at Church last Sunday or for years. What really matters is you are here today where Jesus is.

Thomas Sunday isn’t about Thomas having missed Jesus. Thomas made sure he was there the next Sunday. And the Church has gathered every Sunday ever since to be in the peace and presence of Jesus. So, I need to get to where Jesus is if I want Jesus to fill my life.

            This is Sunday, but what about the rest of our week? We’re only here for an hour. What did Jesus tell those who were gathered?

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” John 20.20-23

            Jesus is sending you. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to you. Jesus wants you making a God-difference in the lives around you.

  1. If my life is to be filled by God, I need to know Jesus is sending me.
    When I was tending bar at Seminary gatherings, I used to say, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” What we do here this morning enables us to go out there. Jesus, our Lord and King, wants you at school, at work, at you neighbor’s house, and even at the Starbuck’s. You are sent. Boring places or peculiar places. Go where Jesus sends you.
    We all know that Jonah tried going the opposite direction God sent him and he became fish food.
  2. If my life is to be filled by God the Holy Spirit, I need to listen and be led.
    When Jesus breathed on them the divine breath of life, the Holy Spirit, He wanted them to be bearers of God, to be those sent to make God present and known. When we’re told to pray constantly, it is to be asking, “God, what do you want here in this place at this moment?” It may be to block the hockey puck flying at you or pacing your horse for the next move, but it isn’t the hockey puck or the riding. It is the people. You could play or paint something beautiful, but it is about the people who hear and see it.
  3. If my life is to be filled by God, I need to bring forgiveness, or even withhold it.
    Jesus wants you to restore people in their relationship with God. Am I bringing God’s forgiveness when it is needed in this person’s life? Do I need to wait, not bring forgiveness? Is it God’s timing? It’s not about me. If I’m not sorry I’ve done something wrong, forgiveness has no power, but when it is the right time, God’s forgiveness can bring resurrection to new life.

Our prayer this week (Collect for The First Sunday after Easter) is that we might serve God in “pure living and truth” that everyone here today might not only know Jesus’ peace and presence, but bring it to the places Jesus is directing, into the life of the one person Jesus is directing you this week. There may be incidental people, people to whom we are kind and loving, but Jesus works intentionally with his peace and presence. It is in the lives of these people that Jesus will fill your life with his peace and presence.

Scripture quotations a courtesy from ESV Bible®