We have an exciting Sunday approaching. We have invited Quakers from two unprogrammed meetings in Portland to join us for worship this week (see the blog for more info). We hope you will all be able to stay and join us after our meeting for worship for conversation and a potluck lunch.
In preparation for Sunday morning I wanted to send out the text we will be discussing, it comes from the Gospel of John 20:19-29. This text takes place on the same day as Easter morning (you might note that John again stresses that it is the first day, thus building on the new creation theme we discussed last Sunday).
Here’s the passage:
“When 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.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So 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.”
A 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.” Then 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.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (John 20:19–29 NRSV)
And the supplemental reading is from Acts 5:
“When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5:27–32 NRSV)
- Why do you think the Gospel writer tells us about these three short scenes? What do you think is happening here?
- What captures your attention from this passage?
- Is there anything about Thomas you like? What is it?
- Do you see any connections between these two passages?
Have a great week.
Pastor at Camas Friends Church