Posts Tagged doubt

John 20:19-31/2. Who or What Is Missing? 20150412 RSUMC

missingsock_milk

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, 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 his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Jesus Appears to Thomas. Now Thomas (called 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 it.” 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.” Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. [NRSV]

Who is missing?

After his resurrection from the dead, Jesus went to Jerusalem, just as he said, to meet the disciples.

Judas was missing. Overwhelmed with regret and confusion takes his life and is missing from the circle. Given the events in the garden the disciples would have at least known why Judas might not show up.

Thomas was also missing. Where was Thomas? There is no mention of his absence at the first appearance of Jesus. Neither by Jesus nor the others, Thomas was absent.

What he afraid? Was he hiding? Had he given up? Did he not check his email or Facebook page or maybe his cell phone battery was not charged after a busy weekend. His absence goes un-noted for the moment.

This is one of the occurrences in the church that is just as true today as it was then. If we take a moment and look around at who is missing.

Some folks have recently died and we continue to grieve for the emptiness of their home going.

Others are ill and not physically able to be her or it is hazardous to their health or ours if the came to worship. Other have other limitations that keep them from being in this place.

Some are on vacation. Some are sleeping. Some are working. Some are accounted for, while others are missing, absence and not connected.

Which category did Thomas fit into?

Because we are so focused on our own worship, our own needs, and our own stuff, that we are looking to Jesus for all the help we can get. We make no note of who is missing.

So look around and see who is missing:

Not that we will take away a gold star, no demerits, no red ‘X’ by their name, but think back to last Sunday, where nearly 250 people gathered in this place and this morning, some of those are missing.

Still others were missing last week and like Thomas have come today. Thanks be to God that you are all hear.

Be know it is important that we have our shepherding ministry of paying attention to who is not hear, so that a week, or month , or a season does not go by and we not notice who is not in the fellowship, not in the circle.

Did you ever think Thomas was out evangelizing and telling the world about the resurrection? It is doubtful as he questions the resurrections when he has the opportunity to see Jesus in the flesh.

Thomas want to see the evidence, the proof, the touch and hold the hands and side confirmation, that what Jesus said was true and real.

Here is Good News, Thomas shows up. And, when he shows up he wants to believe. He wants to see Jesus. Jesus wants him to have peace. Jesus wants him to believe. Jesus wants him to know the power and gift of the resurrection is for Thomas too.

Think about what Thomas is asking Jesus

  • Jesus who died for Thomas
  • Jesus who conquered death for Thomas
  • Jesus who rose from the dead for Thomas
  • Jesus who came looking for Thomas and Thomas was missing
  • Jesus who came looking for Thomas a second time is met by Thomas’s question and challenge.

..I will not believe unless I touch his hand / feel his side.

Despite any arrogance or ignorance: Jesus wants Thomas to believe.

Jesus is going the extra-mile of the extra-mile for the extra-stubborn folks like me… Praise the Lord!

SO Jump ahead to 2015

Jesus has been reveal to us in worship, Word, works of grace and service in his name. He STILL lives..

Why are their folks missing out?

Is there something missing the witness?

Here is a test question: Will your grandchildren (or that generation) know what your grandparents believed? That’s a five-generation spread of 100 years, @20 years.

We all know “WE” believe, but what about those who are missing what we cherish and treasure?

What if folks are looking at our hands and stand at our sides, do they see and touch Jesus when they are around us?

Is something missing?

  • Jesus Gives the disciples PEACE
  • Jesus Gives the disciples SPIRIT
  • Jesus Gives the disciples WORD
  • Jesus Gives the disciples Repeat Visits
  • Jesus Gives the disciples hands-on
  • Jesus Gives the disciples the Church
  • Jesus Give the Church the peace, spirit, word, presence, contact and life to share with the world that is missing from the table.

Do you know anyone who has seen the signs, but is missing the:

Peace, Spirit, Welcome, Presence and/or Christ in their daily living? Then you know what’s on your disciple’s to-do list this week.

Show the signs,

breathe the presence and spirit,

share the word,

ask and invite again,

Jesus lives for us and those who are missing.

Jesus is sending us to show the cross and it’s Good News

Jesus is resending us to live the life for the missing.

Who is missing? So get to work.

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Matthew 14:22-33 “Keep Me Out of Trouble?” RSUMC 20140810

The calm sea of galilee

The calm Sea of Galilee 2011

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” [NRSV]

• Jesus dismisses the disciples before dismissing the crowd. Leaders need retreat and renewal in order to be fit for leadership.

• Just when rest is needed, the A boat battered by the waves, far from the shore, with the wind against them. Strike three.

• Stepping out of perfectly find boat, into the awesome power of storm is the antithesis of safety?? [Jumping from the frying pan into the fire.]

• Jesus invites us to Come to him, IN the midst of a terrible storm.

o Jesus is in the storm, WITH us.
o Peter walks on the water..

• We are amazed that Jesus walked on the water, but Peter did the same. Ordinary, fallible, doubting, over-thinking, over planning, over talking, over protecting Peter..

• Finds Jesus’ strength to do all things, more powerful than storms and nature, greater than the rules of science and engineering. Peter can do all things in Christ who gives him strength..

BUT, This is what gets us in to real trouble. BUT. Our buts get us into trouble.
We think that following Jesus keeps the storms away. Nope.
Those outside the church look at our lives and see we have illnesses, hardship and struggles. They ask, “Where is God” or think “God is gone or made up.”

Or our trouble is that WE think WE have conquered the waves and storms.
We step out in the waters of faith, God blesses and guides us and we look away.
There is a cinematic focal point where the camera pans from the storm and connects Jesus’ eyes with Peter’s eyes. They are connected.

But when Peter looks away, the connection is broken, the connection is lost, the power is cut off. Because it is not Peter’s power. Peter looks at the storm, at the impossible, at the fear, at anything except Jesus and down he goes into the storm.

Home Work is to get out of the boat and keep our eyes on Jesus.
It is easy to sit here in the fellowship, with great music and friends and good neighbors, but thing of storms of jobs, bills, cancers and broken hearts, fighting fears and families. Step into a storm and bring all eyes to Jesus.

Help someone see Jesus in the storm.
Break up a fight. Make a call, send an email, write a letter, start the conversation, break the silence. Be the messenger that reminds and introduces: “Jesus is here with us now.”

You may say, I don’t get mixed up in others folks troubles. Then get out and look around, live a little and see and hear our neighbors who feel that they are about to drown and we have words of power, hope and life to share.

Practice: Look in the eyes of someone this morning. Do you see Jesus or just evidence of a wrestles night lacking sleep? Tell that person,

“Keep Your eyes on Jesus and he will see you through every part of your life.”
Nothing is impossible in Christ who gives us strength.

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John 20:19-31 “Seeing is Believing” JUMC 20140427

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When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 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. [NRSV]

We have seen The Lord.. So it is easy for a to believe.

I will not believe unless I see, so look and touch

belief is more important than anything

gods incarnation reveals that god s willing to do what t take for us to see, hear, touch, smell and taste belief.

Therefore beleif is the heart of our witness.

 

 

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