God who meets us on our terms,
God who understands each of our emotions,
God who is endlessly patient and non-critical,
We ask you, would you
meet us when we feel confused?
Meet us when feel doubt.
Meet us in our moments of uncertainty.
God who is not surprised by our resistance,
God who is tender towards our questions,
God who is curious about where we feel stuck,
We ask you, would you deepen our felt
sense of safety so that our hearts may open?
Soften our gaze so that we may see more clearly.
Loosen our grips so that we may hold more gently.
We pray in the name
of God, our respectful Parent
Christ, the living sense of Hope,
and the Holy Spirit, our settling Breath.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of John 20: 19-29.
19 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 [Temple authorities],
Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples
rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the
Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain
the sins of any, they are retained.”
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them
when Jesus came. 25 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.”
26 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.” 27 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.”
28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 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.”
The Good News of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Homily and Reflection
When has your certainty led to unforgiveness?
How does trusting in God change your understanding of having faith, despite living in a world with such suffering?
All around us your creation croons.
When we can not move, you meet us
with your people, pressing palms to palms.
You live within us, transforming what decays.
To the parts within us that are
slowing to a stop – bring life.
To the parts within us that are
dim and dusty – bring life.
Swell our hearts with a hope
that grows from witnessing death conquered.
Show us hope in unexpected times and places.
In the natural world, in our community,
and in our broken hearts, show us hope.
To the parts within us that feel dull and
ordinary and disenchanted – bring life.
To the parts within us that fail,
that worry, that fear – bring life.
May this be our prayer this week,
our God of Life and Love, amen.
Go in peace, Vox family, and live the church.
May you find hope and community this week.
[Photo by Jonatan Lewczuk]