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Tag Archives: John 20

Curiosities, Questions, Doubts?

Earlier this week on Facebook, I saw a cartoon that was perfect for this morning.

It depicted three disciples standing together.
The middle disciple says “Am I ever going to live it down?”.

Another disciple says, “Thomas, are you still on it?”.

Thomas replies:
“I don’t get it. We do not call Peter ‘Denying Peter’ or Mark ‘Run Away Naked Mark’. 

There must be a reason that this ‘doubt’ remains central to Thomas’ character as we have and will continue to forever intertwine ‘doubt’ with ‘Thomas’.

There must also be a reason that this is one of a few scriptures read in church EVERY SINGLE YEAR and always the Sunday after the Resurrection (Easter).

I think this reason is that it speaks to our own journeys of faith as well as our own faith development and formation, but also our natural human character.

Please raise your hands:

  • if you were or continue to be the inquisitive one?
  • if you were or continue to always ask questions?
  • if you, perhaps, got into trouble for asking ‘too many’ questions?

Although I see a few hands, these are slightly lifted and hidden as though there is shame.
There is NO SHAME in being the ‘inquisitive one’.

We misunderstand ‘doubt’ as the opposite of ‘faith’, or even ‘belief’.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2019 in Sermons

 

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Believe It or Not…

“Doubting Thomas” is perhaps one of my favorite Sundays, which is always the Sunday after Resurrection/Easter morning.

Thomas is forever remembered for a single moment of doubt.

At times I wonder if we too are not remembered more for our moments of doubt than we are for our moments of faith. But doubt is an important part of our faith.

There are moments that happen in our lives that cause us to question because it defies our known reality and logic. Thus, we question our encounter.

“Doubting Thomas” always causes me to think about an Easter a few years ago.

I was serving as an Intern Pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Olympia, Washington. My mother, step-father, sister, and her significant other were visiting from Arizona to celebrate Easter with me.

The following week, we decided to explore Seattle. After a walking tour in Pioneer Square, we decided to walk to Pike Place Market. My sister, Amanda, is a smoker and as we approached Pike Place Market she said “I have to smoke before getting into THAT crowd”. While the rest of us thought “Amanda, you JUST smoked”.

Note: Amanda was laughing because she knew it was true.

Amanda’s significant other was in a Starbuck’s phase at the time AND the original Starbuck’s is located in the Pike Place Market area. Therefore, we decided to walk to Starbuck’s so Amanda could smoke, he would see the Starbuck’s, and we all would have drinks for the marketplace.

As we walked to Starbuck’s, Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in Sermons

 

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Wild One: the Holy Spirit and Its Gifts

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Its Pentecost!! Yahoo!!

I was talking earlier today about how we focus on Pentecost as this festival day, where we get to wear red and we get all excited about it. We get all excited about the Holy Spirit. Yet, it seems so odd to me that we do this; Pentecost seems like an odd thing for me.

We struggle with the Spirit and what the Spirit calls us to do. So, I want to talk about how it influenced the disciples.

Do you remember last week?
Christ has ascended back to the Father. The disciples were hidden in an upper room, praying ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done’. But the truth is, Christ had already sent them into the world to carry on his mission.

I talked about how we are invited, encouraged, and brought into that same mission through our baptismal promises; nurtured by the faithful, nurtured by Word and Sacrament. We are called to proclaim the Word in word and deed. We’re called to seek justice, to act with mercy and compassion, to love, and to serve.

But, the disciples are in an upstairs room praying ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done’. Where is the action?

The analogy I used last week was the relay runner, because we are called to get a head-start while the one running up behind us is bringing us the drive or motivation to continue.

That motivation, that drive happened at Pentecost. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Sermons

 

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Doubt: Necessary for a Dynamic Faith

 

The celebration of Easter in the Church is 50 days beginning with the Resurrection and concluding with the Holy Spirit poured out onto the people at Pentecost. This Easter season recounts the post-Resurrection accounts of Jesus the Christ, our Risen Lord.

 

The morning of the Resurrection emphasizes Mary Magdalene and additional women arriving at the tomb of Jesus the Christ to anoint his body per custom. These women were expecting to encounter his corpus, but instead are greeted by the Risen Lord. He commissions them to bear witness to and share the good news of his resurrection with the others, including the inner-most circle of the eleven disciples.

 

These other disciples, except Thomas, are fearfully hidden in a dark room behind locked doors. These other disciples did not believe these witnesses of the Risen Lord until Christ appeared within their dark room. These disciples share their experience with Thomas, who similarly does not believe them.

 

We always wrestle with doubt and its relationship to faith the first Sunday after the Resurrection through the narrative of “doubting” Thomas. But, who is this “doubting” Thomas? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2017 in Newsletter Articles

 

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Doubt? Ask and Seek

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Our text this Sunday is a common and familiar one, which is read each year the Sunday after the Resurrection. We know this story as “Doubting Thomas”.

On Palm Sunday, I talked about we all have had our moments when we have been Judas (the betrayer) and Peter (the denier); well, we all are “doubting” Thomas.

My question is, who is Thomas before the Resurrection, during this account, and afterwards?

Well, Thomas (according to John) is one of the twelve disciples of Christ, who prior to the Resurrection [Doubting Thomas] story we have two lines from him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2017 in Sermon Summaries

 

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