Starting May 5th I would like to start a lectionary Bible Study. This has been one of my favorite things to do in ministry. I love looking at the Bible stories with people where we can ask some really great questions.
I can sit with my colleagues around a table and talk about all the things we learned in seminary about the Bible but I can’t always tell what our faith community in Gardner wants/needs to hear unless I ask you directly!!
I think about this dynamic every year when we read about “Doubting Thomas”. I always think Thomas gets a bad rap because he does not want anything more than what the other disciples get, a chance to see up close the resurrected Christ.
Here are some questions I have been thinking about this week as I walk through the text to Sunday morning. I hope to answer some of these in worship.
Why is it so difficult for Thomas to believe?
Why does Jesus seem to answer Thomas so harshly?
Is Jesus’ words directed towards Thomas or did the Gospel writer (John) put them in for us?
Thomas makes the great confession of John’s Gospel, calling him not just “my Lord” but also “my God,” echoing the confession articulated in the opening verses (John 1:1, 14). And to top it all off, Jesus add his own invitation and blessing to all those who hear this story and believe even though they have not seen in the same way the disciples did.
All of this leads me to my most recent question: What is it that would prompt a similar confession of faith from us today? Do we long to see Jesus like Thomas? Do we look for a loving and accepting community of believers? Do we hope to see the mercy of God enacted in the service and witness of our congregation? Do we seek someone to hold on to us when we struggle in faith or life? Or do we just need to hear John’s acknowledgment that faith is hard and receive Jesus’ invitation to faith and promise of blessing?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below and come on Sunday to hear some of my thoughts!
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