Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blogging toward Sunday

The Lectionary readings for Sunday, April 15th include Acts 4:32-35 and John 20:19-31.

Easter Sunday we gathered to hear the good news: Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Next Sunday's reading from the Gospel of John occurs after Mary Magdalene has announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord." It is the evening of the same day and the disciples are hiding behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. Jesus appears in the midst of them saying, "Peace be with you."

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A week later, again the disciples are in the house and again Jesus appears, offering Thomas the invitation to touch him so that Thomas may believe. Thereafter, in verses 30-31, the purpose of this gospel is provided: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name."

In preparation for worship on Sunday, take some time to read John 20:19-31. Ask God to open your eyes to see this familiar story in fresh, new ways. Perhaps you might like to have pen and paper handy to write down any new learning you receive. Read it through at least twice, allowing time to ponder the words carefully. 

Then consider the following:
  1. Why are the disciples so fearful, even a week after the resurrection?
  2. Why does Thomas ask not only to see but also to touch Jesus?
  3. "Believing" is a major theme of John's Gospel. How is "believing" highlighted in this reading?
  4. In your opinion, why is it easier for some to believe than others?
  5. In light of what you already know about the disciples following Jesus' resurrection and ascension, how do they express their "belief" in the days to come?
  6. How many times does Jesus offer the same greeting to the disciples?
I hope your journey toward Sunday has been enriched by spending time preparing your heart and mind. As always, I look forward to seeing you in worship. Until then, peace be with you!


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