Our first reading shows the early Christian Church modelling the Realm of God with joy and unity, truly living according to the teachings of Jesus…his parables and his Way.
Imagine a world like this! Imagine a church like this!
Let us listen, and may God speak to us.
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
Psalm 133 VU p. 856 and Refrain
We’ll sing this Psalm together, lead by the choir.
The following was prepared by Rev. Janice Guthrie
John 20: 19-31
Each year on the Sunday after Easter, we read this story about Thomas from John's gospel. Because it’s a familiar story, it’s important to listen carefully in order to discern its message for us today.This translation is by our friend, the Rev. Janice Guthrie. The story begins on the evening of the first Easter day, and continues a week later. How does the story of Thomas speak to your story?
It happened, then, that Sunday evening—the doors of the house where the disciples were having been locked for fear of the religious authorities— Jesus came and stood in their midst. “Peace is with you,” he said, and showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed to see Jesus, and he greeted them again, “Peace is with you. As God has sent me, so I send you.” Having said this, he breathed on them, saying, “Receive a holy spirit. If you were to forgive anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven for them, and if you were to retain them, they have been retained.”
One of the twelve, Thomas, the one called ‘Twin’, wasn’t with them when Jesus came. The other disciples kept telling him, “We’ve seen Jesus.” But Thomas said to them, “Unless I were to see the mark the nails made in his hands, were to thrust my finger into the place where the nails were, and my hand into his side, I’d never be persuaded.”
A week later, the disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Jesus entered through the locked doors and stood in their midst, saying, “Peace is with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Thrust your finger here. Look at my hands. Reach out your hand and thrust it into my side. Don’t become distrustful, but be trusting.” Thomas answered him, “My sovereign and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you been persuaded because you’ve seen me? Fortunate those who trust without seeing.”
Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not recorded in this book, but these are recorded so that you may continue to trust that Jesus is the Anointed, the child of God, and that through trusting you may have life in Christ’s name.