Today's Lectionary Text
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
In the old days John 20: 21-22 was always quoted when discussing mission experiences. Yet, the idea that Jesus sends us just as God has sent him, is much more than a call to go on a mission trip. This piece of scripture unveils the manifestation of the incarnation, Jesus embodies the hope, love and peace of God in tangible ways. Just like Jesus incarnates God’s disclosure in human fashion, we too are called to exemplify the life, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ to the world. As you ponder the question of where Jesus is sending you during this pandemic season, I suggest we all think about how Jesus is inviting us to represent his resurrection message of hope and peace in a season of despair and fear.
In these times of uncertainty, we are called to echo the resurrection message to all people. May we be the voices of hope for those experiencing despair. May we be the presence of peace and assurance of the Holy Spirit for those overwhelmed with messages of fear. May we bear a hopeful, grace-filled and peace-filled resurrection message to our neighbors.
-Rev. Kalaba Chali
Mercy and Justice Coordinator
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, infuse in us a bold spirit to proclaim a message of hope in times of despair.
Risen Christ, transform our hearts to be agents of peaceful and redemptive communities.
Spirit of the living God, ignite within us a spirit of wisdom to offer guidance in times of confusion.
-Excerpts from Catch the Fire in 50 Days: Joining the Movement of God’s Mission in the World by Blake Busick and Christie Latona, For sermon outlines and worship helps for the season of Easter, go to www.greatplainsumc.org/catchfire.
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