Easter 2 (Year A): Litany for Fear

The Lectionary passage from the Gospels for the second Sunday in Eastertide is from John 20, in which Jesus appears to the disciples in the house where they are huddled up after the crucifixion, terrified for their lives, afraid the Jewish authorities will connect them with the rebel Jesus who was put to death over the weekend. The doors are locked, windows barred; I imagine everyone is tiptoeing trying to be quiet, trying not to need to use the outhouse.

Jesus, ignoring the locked doors, appears among them, right into the midst of their terror, offering them peace. He graciously lets them see his wounds. And then he breathes on them the gift of the Spirit. It's quite the entrance.

God, we are caught up in fears
Of things known and unknown
As the disciples huddled in a house, fearful after Christ’s death
So we tend to lock our doors.

We forget that when we lock our doors, nothing can enter
Neither the bad nor the good.
But Perfect Love doesn’t need a door -
Christ has appeared among us, even so!

Into our darkest, most fearful places
Jesus has walked right in!
Into our most doubtful moments
Jesus has spoken Peace. (1)
We saw in his wounds, the evidence of death and pain upon him,
Our worst fears realized in his flesh.

What we learned is that our worst fears are not the end:
Life has overcome death;
Joy has overcome pain;
Love has overcome fear. (2)
The one who went before us, straight into the heart of darkness --
The Risen Christ has overcome the world. (3)

Breathe upon us, Lord Christ:
The breath of hope and peace,
The breath of Perfect Love,
The breath of the Spirit of God. (4)


(1) John 20:21
(2) 1 John 4:18
John 16:33
John 20:22