SermonPentecost Day
Pentecost Day, Sunday June 8, 2014.
St Petri
10.30am Service – Confirmation Day

John 20:19-23
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
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 retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

PLAY MEDIA FILE “breathe.wmv”     [wpvideo JI9UBriR]

Yes, breathe Holy Spirit! Breathe into us and speak your word that heals this broken ground”. Breathe life and vision and power and peace into these young people today for the journey ahead. Say, what you will, Living Spirit of Christ, that we breathe in the very breath of our God today”.

That’s our prayer for you today, kids. It is a prayer about breathing…in and out: breathing in and breathing out in God’s presence and power….

That sure is what those frightened followers of Jesus needed the night they were out of breath, locked in that upper room very unsure of themselves and what they will become – if they even have much of a future after they saw him die that horrible death and after they had let him down so plainly and shamefully.

And then the ghost they think they see is no ghost but a man – a human being with his voice, his wounds, his character, his face – it IS him and everything he said was for real! Everything we have been through to this point is worth it. Everything we hope for ourselves and our futures remains possible.

And then he speaks. He speaks those simple but profound and deep words that heal the broken ground in our head and heart. “Peace be with you”.

They are the only words that count today for you, like it was for them. “Peace be with you”. As he breathes his life into your heart and mind by his Word now, he says what you have now – Peace: Peace with me, peace with you, peace with us, peace with Him, peace, peace, peace!

• When you are torn apart by a bully: Peace
• When you are worried about failing: Peace
• When you are putting on a show to be somebody you are not: Peace
• When they are fighting again: Peace
• When you lose someone or something loved: peace
• When you have no idea what’s next and if you can do it: Peace

Peace, peace, peace. And not peace you find in yourself of down the mall or on-line, or all by yourself, but His Peace: real peace; peace beyond yourself – longer, higher, deeper, fuller. Peace that crosses all the boundaries and streams out into every place and scene and person…Peace that goes where you go and stays where you stay.

Such simple words for you: but life-giving and life-shaping because of who says it now.

It took all of his being born, growing up, learning, teaching, healing, suffering, loving, copping the pain and being completely lonely and in huge physical, emotional and spiritual pain to say those words. “Peace be with you”.

Only he can say this really. It is the peace he won for us and the peace that comes from him that gives us patience, poise and real promise. He won it. He earned it for us and now freely gives it away to all. He is our peace with God and with each other.

So, young people, you have his peace. You got the first breath of it when you were baptised into Christ. it was then that you were sealed with the Spirit’s power and peace in Jesus.

You’ve lived in His peace ever since. Sometimes you have been aware of Jesus’ peace and sometimes not. But he is always aware of you and always offering his breath of life to fill your lungs with life and your heart with joy as you face an unknown future like the rest of us.

In these teenage years you will need his peace. It’s a turbulent time – body changing, mind expanding, identity forming, relationships confusing, voices compounding and competing for your heart.

Your church community here get this. Sure it may have been a while since some of us were teens, but even if we forgotten that, we get it and we want to support you in it.

We thank the Lord that you are here and that you have his peace and that together we are peacemakers in this place.

Yes, YOU are a peacemaker – chosen by Jesus to bring his forgiveness to the places you go and the people know.

In the challenging years ahead, you have us and you have His peace to centre you and help you know who you are and whose you are. In an upper room when the fear is high and the future confusing or bleak, hear his words to you; “Peace be with you, young man, young woman – my child. Peace be with you”.

Breathe in:
• Hear those words of peace when you gather here in the same name into which you have been baptised – “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”.
• Take in his breath of peace here when you hear those words, “I forgive you all your sin”.
• Taste his life-giving peace when you taste the body and blood of this man and Son of God, Jesus Christ at the altar.
• Enjoy his peace when you hear us sing and pray and preach and share and join into the new song of peace we share.

Breathe out:
And when he has centred you again and another day at school or home or sport or wherever is given to you, take that calm, the patience, the poise and the promise you have and practice the art of being a peace-giver and maker – a Christian young person who forgives, who kindly challenges when needed, who asks for forgiveness from others and gives forgiveness when asked for.

You may think you are;
• Graduated from church and learning and being used by God.
• You are young and church and mission is “adult world” – not for young people…
• Finally free to cut loose from here and return whenever you want on your terms when you feel like it or need it again….

Well, you are young and there is a lot going on. And you are discovering your character, your goals, your gifts, and who you are. But even if you think that being sent as peacemaker with the breath of Jesus to speak and do is not really a big deal, we are saying it is and that you are a big deal too!

This local church and this community needs young people who know how to breathe – breathe in His peace and breathe out his peace. You are the lungs of life because you carry his peace in you and now you are called to step up to the calling of the Spirit we all share – to be his peace here and now.

So, just hear his words today, kids. “Peace be with you”. They are your words. “Peace be with you. I send you. My breath of life is your life”.

Just sense his breath filling up your soul with life and hope and a huge reservoir of forgiveness to give as you are able.

And call to mind this day when this peace was re-established in you on your Confirmation Day – Pentecost Day,
the birthday of this global and ancient community called the Christian Church in which, by God’s grace we live.

Yes, breathe Holy Spirit! Breathe into us and speak your word that heals this broken ground”. Breathe life and vision and power and peace into these young people today for the journey ahead. Say, what you will, Living Spirit of Christ, that we breathe in the very breath of our God today”.