Easter 2 - Holy Humor Sunday
Whether holy humoring or not, I find sweet release in "The Message" version of John 20:22-23. It is a reminder that the resurrection of Jesus brings the forgiveness he asks for in Luke's version (yes, acknowledged, it's not fair to so conflate Luke into John).
With some stage directions thrown in:
Then [Jesus] took a deep breath [bigger, bigger]
and breathed [Pentecost whooshed] into them.
"Receive the Holy Spirit," he said [with a smile, knowing it was going to change them].
[Then seriously] "If you forgive someone's sins [dramatic pause],
they're gone for good [good chuckle].
If you don't forgive sins [start of giggle],
what are you going to do with them [belly laugh or guffaw]?!!
Sometimes we need to pause in the telling. Thomas wasn't there, so how long before he heard the report of the other 10 (or was it only 8 because a couple of others were also missing in action and it wasn't in their nature to kvetch (doubt/question/complain) about missing something). We can let the good news of forgiveness hang in the air for a bit before proceeding to verse 24.
This helps me remember that "angels can fly because they take themselves lightly" (Chesterton) and we begin to soar when we take forgiveness seriously enough to participate in it.
I believe in Forgiveness of sins Apostles' Creed. Is this what you believe about forgiveness?