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2 Easter - John 20:19-31

Today, the second Sunday of Easter, we get a second chance.

After learning a few things last week, we now have more pop up tents for less people and some technical adjustment for our second camera that the pastor will probably never fully


Thank God for Juan and Rob who do.

We have beautiful weather again, and the sun rose, giving everyone who wakes up today a second chance.

That's what the gospel is all about—the big message of the good news of Jesus and also today's little snippet of John.

The story is full of second chances, and not just for Thomas the Twin, presumably his parents' second chance.

On his first visit, Jesus speaks peace to his terrified disciples a second time.

Jesus then visits them the following week, speaking peace a third time, another second chance, as their fear is thawing, through doors that have progressed from locked to shut.

And he breathes on them.

This is not just a violation of covid protocols; this is a violation of the laws of nature.

He died, and now he's breathing life into others, including those who denied and abandoned him.

The Holy Spirit, the breath of God, is a second chance, from Christ's lungs to yours.

It is the power to forgive: it is the power to grant second chances.

It is nothing less than the power of new creation.

That's why John's timing is out of order.

Did you notice?

This story immediately follows Sunday morning in the garden with Mary Magdalene, but it begins when it was evening on the first day of the week ... which is Saturday night.

The Jewish day begins at sundown, which is etched in the chorus of the great creation song: and there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.

John isn't just reporting Jesus' movements; John is singing a new, new song to sing an old, old story that he has loved so long.

In this little locked room, God is remaking the world.

Creation is receiving a second chance.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son...not to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

The world, of course, crucified him.

Easter is Christmas given a second chance.

The risen Christ is creation's second chance.

And we, the church, are his second chance.

As the Father sent me, so I send you, he tells his disciples.

Now we are partners in God's second chance business.

I quote Robert Capon again, another second chance to absorb his words we cannot hear enough:

The church is not in the morals business.

The world is in the morals business, quite rightfully; and it has done a fine job of it, all things considered.

The history of the world's moral codes is a monument to the labors of many philosophers, and it is a monument of striking unity and beauty...

What the world cannot get right, however, is the forgiveness business—and that, of course, is the church's real job.

She is in the world to deal with the Sin that the world can't turn off or escape from.

She is not in the business of telling the world what's right and wrong so that it can do good and avoid evil.

She is in the business of offering, to a world that knows all about that tiresome subject, forgiveness for its chronic unwillingness to take its own advice.

But the minute she even hints that morals, and not forgiveness, is the name of her game, she

instantly corrupts the Gospel and runs headlong into blatant nonsense.

Forgiveness is the jaw-dropping, sensibility-offending truth to which our hyper-woke world remains fast asleep.

The church is sent by God into a world that won't forgive anyone anything—no compromise is acceptable, no pr