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Resources for the 3rd Sunday of Easter
St. Thomas Day - St. Thomas, the Doubter

"He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see..." Luke 24:38-39

Texts & Discussion:

Acts 3:12-19
Psalm 4
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48


Call to Worship

Leader: Christ, God’s gift to the world, shall come.
People: For those who feel despair will know hope.
Leader: For those who are oppressed will know freedom
People: For those who are lonely will know love.
Leader: For those who are suffering will know inner peace.
People: O Christ, Lord of the world, your time is now!
All: Fill our hearts with joy!




Children's Messages


Sermon Excerpt

Why It Matters
based on Luke 24:36b-48
by Rev. Karen A. Goltz

Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed.  So what?

            We’ve just come through Lent.  We’ve celebrated the solemnity of Maundy Thursday and we’ve recalled the agony of Good Friday.  We rejoiced at the resurrection on Easter Sunday.  Just like we do every year.  So what’s different in your life because of it?

            I think in many ways we’ve become too familiar with the pattern of the church year and the story it tells.  Sure, we’re on a three-year lectionary, each year based on a different gospel, but the gospels all tell the same story.  We hear about expectation of the Coming One at the beginning of every winter.  We hear about Christ’s birth every December.  We hear about the Transfiguration and engage in introspection during Lent every early spring.  We hear about Jesus’ final days, his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, his final discourse to his disciples, his agony in the garden and on the cross.  Every spring we hear about his miraculous resurrection, followed by several weeks of his disciples trying to get their minds around this new reality.  Then we hear about the Spirit descending on Pentecost and the birth of the Christian Church, followed by several months of hearing that year’s gospel writer’s account of the ministry of Jesus.  Then we’re back at Advent, hearing about the expectation of the Coming One, and we do it all over again, rinse and repeat, round and round we go.

            The disciples were tasked with spreading the good news to all nations, and they did that so well that we fail to be really moved or inspired by it anymore.  We’re no longer amazed by the shocking twists and turns, and some of the events even seem a little hokey.  I mean, take that bit about the fish in today’s gospel reading.  Who cares if Jesus ate a piece of fish?  Who cares that it was broiled?  A nutritionally balanced diet doesn’t seem to be necessary for maintaining life after the resurrection, so why did Luke waste the precious ink and paper to include that detail?

            Probably because Luke wasn’t writing for a bunch of jaded twenty-first century Americans.  Luke was writing to a community of persecuted believers roughly a generation after Jesus’ crucifixion.  These were people who, like us, never actually witnessed all the miracles and healings and exorcisms.  These were people who, like us, had only ever heard the story, and who wondered what difference a story could make in their lives.  And Luke wanted them to understand that this is no mere story.  This is real.... Subscribers: click here for the full manuscript.


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