Sunday, April 7, 2013

Second Sunday of Easter
Year C
April 7, 2013
                        Acts 5:27-32                                              Psalm 118:14-29
                     Revelation 1:4-8                                            St. John 20:19-3      onnday of 1   
Hymns:  199, 7, 208, 469

Today is known as Low Sunday.   Churches tend to be packed on Easter Sunday, but now we are back to the normal, and many just take a Sunday off.  So we few are here!  

And of course today is St. Thomas Sunday.  Poor St. Thomas, you have to feel for him.  He is always held up as the skeptic against the example of the other disciples.  And yet, this is not quite fair as a comparison.  After all, the disciples had already experienced what Thomas himself asked to experience.  Thomas was not asking for anything other than that which they had already experienced.  He wanted to see Jesus in person just as the other disciples had.  It seems a perfectly reasonable request to me. 

Those others disciples were not a shining example of blind faith.  They had been able to see Jesus and believed and that is the same experience that Thomas wanted to have as well. 

To tell the truth, I actually think Thomas is a pretty good example for all of us in the Christian church today anyway.  I believe that a little bit of disbelief and skepticism can be quite healthy and good for us both as individuals and as the church.  Disbelief allows us the opportunity to ask question and opens up the possibility of deepening and exploring our faith. 

And yet some people and church leaders show what I feel is an unhealthy fear of a little or like in my case, a lot of, disbelief.   In some churches the honest questioning about faith and what we believe is quite threatening.  People never speak of it because they fear they will be judged as either very weak in their faith, or worse as no longer Christians. 

People are afraid to even express any doubt or concerns for fear about what others – or God will think about us. 

This quite frankly is not good for our own spiritual development or for the development of the church as a whole.  To be fearful of growing, developing, and questioning is extremely unhealthy.  Thomas was not afraid to speak his own truth, that he needed more in order to belief.  He was not afraid to speak out his concerns regarding his faith to those around him. 

We need to feel that it is safe to express our doubts, our understandings, perhaps even our fears about our faith walk in our lives.  

Only when we feel safe to do this can we truly grow, develop, and challenge ourselves and our faith. 

I pray that God will grant all of us the strength of heart to not fear to express ourselves.  I pray that God will grant all of us the strength of character and charity to be open to listening to people expressing their doubts and struggles.  That will make St. Peter’s a healthy place to learn and love.  

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