Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter 2:John 20:19-31


Wow Easter Sunday is passed with all its festivities and finery. We now move to the post resurrection appearances of Jesus. The first being in John 20:19-31. You can't read this passage without thinking Thomas, "doubting Thomas." In fact if you are not careful you can get stuck on "Doubting Thomas." But try to read the passage with fresh eyes. Try to hear with fresh ears. Try to feel with fresh emotions.
From the NRSV:

19When 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.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.


What did you see? What did you hear? Did you see the dark of night? Did you hear the night time noises? Did you see the fearful unsure looks on the disciple's faces? Did you hear their furtive whispers? Did you see Jesus appear in their midst? Did you see his calmness and his desires for them? Did you hear him breath on them? Did you see it? Did you feel it? Did you hear his words Peace be with you? Did you see his hands his sides? Did you experience the joy the disciples felt? Did you see the look of joy on their faces? Did you receive the power of the Holy Spirit and the power to forgive or the power to retain? Was this a wonderment and amazement to you and to them? How did you feel after he left? How did you feel when Thomas entered the room? Were you excited to tell him also? What did the disciples faces look like? Their voices? How did you feel when Thomas said that he too wanted to see and touch also? What did the disciples look like?

Lets stop there with the first appearance of Jesus, mull this around in your head and heart.

painting

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