April 2018

Doubt and distrust is running ramped in our society today. This is a condition of our humanness or our human predicament as one accredited theologian, Paul Tillich, once said. We are victims of our own skepticism and/or our exposure to those skeptics around us. The week after Easter Sunday in the church year usually takes us into the heart and mind of Thomas, the disciple. I think it's safe to say that the words "doubt" and "distrust" were definitely in motion in this account involving St. Thomas found in the gospel according to St. John, Chapter 20, verses 19-31.

We see this especially when Thomas arrives late on the scene in the "Upper Room" where the disciples had been hiding after Jesus rose from the dead. Look at the question Jesus posed directly to Thomas, "Have you believed because you have seen me?" Indicators are that Jesus was trying to make a point to those always looking for proof or those who doubted and did not trust in his promises prior to his crucifixion. But Jesus follows this with another important comment when he says, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe!"

For generations after Thomas, there would be women and men who would believe, not because of experiences like that of Thomas but because of the stories that included underlying themes of doubt verses trust. In other words, not "if you see, you might believe", but rather, "believe and you will see..."

Dear friends, after the resurrection, Jesus meets his disciples who are trying to get back to their daily routines, even in their daily struggle to trust and believe in all that went down around them.

Jesus appears to them to lift them up from the huge let down, including their skepticism, after all the glory and all the confusion of that first Easter morn.

And for us, perhaps the enthusiasm of Easter wanes a little bit more than we'd like to admit as we journey through the Season of Easter...yet life goes on and if we are still listening as we hear the message loud and clear from our brother in Christ, Thomas, that we can get our hearts and minds set each day on what is really important...the living God.

The good news is that the story about "doubting" Thomas is all about us and our society that says, church and worship is not important anymore...AND the good news is that we need not be feeling guilt whenever we doubt in faith, but instead that we might hear the deeper message from Jesus, the One who said, "Peace be with you" with his scarred hands from the nails opened wide saying to each of us...
"Trust and Believe and no longer doubt"
...because through those very scars on the palms his hands and the waters washed over us in the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, each one of us is blessed with the gift of forgiveness and the gifts of God's unfailing grace and love.

After that first Easter dawn, like Thomas, Peter, another disciple of Jesus, was skeptical about the message he received from the women at the tomb. But through his skepticism and doubt, God used Peter (and Thomas) to build the church of Jesus Christ, still being made new each and every day.

And so we continue in many ministries of outreach and in prayer reminding those, or telling those for the first time, of this resounding Easter message, "He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed! Alleluia!"

A very happy and blessed Easter season from my family to yours!

The Reverend Nancy L. Moore,

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9:30 a.m.

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10:45 a.m.

First Saturday of the Month

5:00 p.m.

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10:00 a.m.

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