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  • Writer's pictureJohn M

Weekly Liturgy : April 10-16

John 20:19-31

Thomas Asks to See the Proof

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas. Caravaggio. 1601.
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas. Caravaggio. 1601.
 

TEXT:


John 20:19-31

Common English Bible


Jesus Appears to the Disciples

19-23 It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.”Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”


Jesus appears to Thomas and the disciples

24 Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!

25 But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”


26-27 After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!”


28 Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”


29 Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”


30-31 Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.

 

REFLECTIONS:


Jesus was just betrayed by all 12 of his closest friends. When he sees them again, all he wants is their peace.


The guy everyone thought was going to save the nation just got publicly humiliated in the worst way possible. And this is who God chooses to raise from the dead? Thomas isn’t so sure.


When I read this story, my disbelief gets activated too. When my friends barely annoy me, the last thing I think about is whether or not they’re okay. When I or my friends suffer, I’m slow to think that it could be an occasion for God to make something good of it. And when I’m skeptical of the whole God-thing, I rarely think I’m allowed to say so (and certainly not directly to God!).


And in the face of all of this, the text still says, be at peace.


So may we be at peace. May be reminded that God isn’t mad at us. That God knows what it is to suffer. And that God is rushing to meet us in our most uncertain moments.

 

PRACTICE:


Outward Mindset Application

Find something you appreciate about each co-worker you encounter today - especially the difficult ones.


Pathways Toward Centeredness

Activism (loving the world through Confrontation): Go for a walk through your neighborhood this week. On your walk, listen for any inner prompt to pray for your neighbors or imagination of how you could serve them.


Questions for Reflection

What is the hardest "good thing" to believe is true about life? In your moments of deep anxiety, what or who brings you peace? What is one part of life you’d like to experience “newness” around?

 

You’re Invited!

One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00am. We would love to see you there!

The Open Table (@ The old DMV)

2640 N Portland Rd

Salem, OR 97301

 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


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