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We come in the spirit of peace, with the hope that a time will come when as the prophet spoke, the nations will beat their swords into plowshares.This is our hope and our dream, that one day there will be no need for war anymore.However, he does tell her to inform the rest of the community that he intends to pay them a visit.

I'm using a picture of the Vietnam Memorial Wall as a reminder how soldiers and veterans of that war were treated when they came home. This is my way of serving my community and those who are called upon to protect and serve.

We come before you, God of all nations, to honor those who have served in the military of this country with dignity and courage.

Jesus breathes upon and says to them: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” When Jesus’s breathes on them it’s not just a general blowing of air into the room.

Jack Levison suggests that this is a rather intimate act.

Not only that, but as Levison also notes there is intimacy here—much like a kiss on the mouth.

And with this breathing in of the Spirit, Levison writes: “Jesus gives to his friends the new found authority of the Spirit, to forgive or not – but not from arm’s length.

May we commit ourselves to serving others, whether it is through military service or simply volunteering in the community.

May we remember the spirit of camaraderie that often develops when people are brought together through public service, including military service.

Easter evening, having gathered together in an upper room, the disciples receive a visit from the risen Jesus.

(Have you ever wondered where he went during the intervening hours? ) This little community of disciples was hiding behind locked doors because they were afraid of the religious authorities (when we read of the “Jews” in John we need to read that as religious authorities, lest we fall into the trap of anti-Judaism).

Although the doors are locked, that doesn’t prevent Jesus from suddenly appearing in their midst.

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