Revised Common Lectionary~~Doubting Thomas edition

Blessed are you,
O God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom we receive the legacy of a living hope,
born again not only from his death
but also from his resurrection.
May we who have received forgiveness of sins
through the Holy Spirit live to set others free,
until, at length, we enter the inheritance
that is imperishable and unfading,
where Christ lives and reigns with you and the same Spirit.

Amen.

The readings for the Second Sunday of Easter may be found here or here.

thomas-slide1

© Henry Martin. Free use for ministry purposeshttp://sermons4kids.com/doubting-thomas-ppt-slides.htm

Two things we cannot doubt: no matter how tired we are, no matter how much Holy Week might have taken out of us, we still have to think about the next sermon coming at us; and if it is the Second Sunday of Easter, chances are that sermon might touch on Doubting Thomas. Of course most of us have no trouble conjuring up those doubts ourselves. What role does doubt play in your congregation, in your life? Does the story of Thomas shed any light for you?

The other theme of the gospel is that Easter is not, after all, the end of a journey but rather the beginning. The commentary at Working Preacher makes a suggestion I find intriguing: What if the disciples were locked away, in hiding because they were afraid of the risen Jesus after having failed to miserably to stay with him during his arrest, trial and crucifixion. Could it be that we are a bit afraid of the demands Jesus might make on us if we really took him seriously? What does Jesus us expect from us now that he is, indeed, risen from the dead?

Our reading from the Acts of the Apostles brings us the into the life of the disciples after Pentecost. As Peter addresses the crowds after the sending of the Spirit,he places the death and resurrection of Jesus squarely in the context of God’s might acts of salvation for the people of Israel and  of God’s overall plan for creation. Where do we see ourselves in this picture? Or do we?

Jesus appears to Thomas - John 20:24-29

JESUS MAFA. Jesus appears to Thomas, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48302 [retrieved April 22, 2014].

Our second reading is the first of four installments covering most of the first letter of Peter. Here Peter reminds his audience that they have been given new birth through Jesus’ resurrection into an inheritance that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” This brings us both joy in the present and hope for the future. Peter compares faith to gold which must be refined by fire. How might this image  embolden us in our ministry, strengthen our faith, hold us up in our life in Christ?

We might still be tired, preachers, (I know I am!) but the task is before us. How are this weeks readings speaking to you?What inspiration do you find to share on what may be a “low Sunday” for many of us. What questions are you pondering? Join the conversation; there is always strength to be found in our numbers!

Categories: Easter 2, Lectionary Leanings, Revised Common Lectionary, Tuesday Lectionary Leanings

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7 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary~~Doubting Thomas edition

  1. Gloria Hopewell

    I am taking the week off, including Sunday–one of my few hoarded Sundays off. But this week was the very first Sunday I ever preached. It was in my home parish on the Sunday called by some “the March of the associate,” or, in my case, seminarians. I was so scared. It was a highly educated parish with a number of ordained members. An hour or so after I got home from church, a member appeared on my doorstep with a bouquet of flowers. I’ve never forgotten the affirmation!

  2. Yup. The churches of central New Jersey will be full of seminarian preachers this Sunday, including this lucky gal. Although, with Finals Week also approaching, there won’t be a ton of time for working on this sermon, so I’m looking forward to what folks share here. One of the pieces that always sticks out for me in this story is that Thomas isn’t with the gang in the house when Jesus first appears. Where is he? What’s he up to? And what makes Jesus come back to see him a week later? Why a whole week? Just a few questions I need to look into before I actually get to work on this thing….
    Oh, and for those who have this Sunday off- relax and ENJOY IT! You’ve more than earned it!

  3. working on my sermon at the moment – the Spill the Beans material I use is using the image of a door for the next few weeks and for this week it has the idea about the door behind which the disciples hid/gathered and how maybe they needed Jesus to instruct/encourage them out of the door and on with their task. Well at least that is where I have taken it so far. But liking this idea of them being afraid of the risen Christ because they think they failed him…off to investigate working preacher – this may fit with what I have already.

    • Kimberly

      Could you possibly share where you found the Spill the Beans material… or a bit about what it is. It sounds intriguing. Thanks so much!

  4. Pingback: 4/27/2014 Peace Be with You | ForeWords

  5. I’m thinking about John Updike’s “Seven Stanzas at Easter” that begin with

    Make no mistake: if he rose at all
    It was as His body;
    If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,
    The amino acids rekindle,
    The Church will fall.

    And Thomas’ need to see Jesus and to touch the wounds

    and I have no idea if this will go anywhere at all; I just want a fresh approach to Thomas!

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