A PERSONAL PRAYER
I guess I fit my name pretty well. They call him “doubting Thomas.” I am a doubter by nature. Someone today just told me a story that seemed hard to believe. So… I didn’t believe it. I meet so many people who seem so sure about everything – their religious convictions, their politics, their judgments about other people. I just wish I was as convinced of one thing, God, as they seem to be about everything. Shouldn’t there be some humility? The more I study and learn about you, the more I realize how much I don’t know. Surely there is room in the part I don’t know for people with whom I disagree.
It seems that each of those disciples believed and doubted, perhaps even both at the same time. I think that such is the nature of faith. The opposite of faith is not doubt; it is certainty. When I meet people who are actively questioning, seeking, wrestling with everything from the resurrection to your very existence, I often feel they are closer to what you want us to be than those who simply accept what they have been taught without any question, and don’t engage in the search for you. Maybe the opposite of faith is complacence. Real faith, it seems to me, is continually wrestling with the questions of faith while stepping forward anyway to live as you have taught us to live, trusting in your abiding and overwhelming love shown in Jesus Christ.
O Jesus, this weekend, as I walk the roads you walked in Galilee and Jerusalem, make yourself real to me yet one more time. I suppose I won’t have the chance to touch the holes in your hands as did the one whose name I bear. Nonetheless, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:29) I humbly ask that you validate with your power my decision, made both long ago and again every morning, to be your disciple. Show me one more time the truth of the way of life you modeled for us, and overwhelm me with your love, that I might live with confidence and joy the life of an apostle.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” Luke 24:41 Read the passage for this week’s sermon here: Luke 24:36-49.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Is there anything about the Christian faith that you find yourself doubting? What makes you “wonder?” How do you experience joy even in the midst of that doubt and wonder?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
I want to issue to you a Summer Bible Study Challenge: Find a way to be in regular Bible Study with others this summer! Here at St. Luke’s you can do that in one (or more) of four ways:
- Read the daily Bible readings in your Scripture + Shared app. Download the app here.
- Sign up for the Bible in 90 days! You can do that here.
- Take the “Bible 101” class to learn foundational information about the Old Testament.
- Find a Bible Buddy, and if you didn’t do it before, go through the Journey to Jerusalem Study. The materials can be found on the Scripture + Shared app or on the website here.
We say “We study the Bible” is a habit, so let’s start a good habit this summer.
This week, I am in Israel with a wonderful group from St. Luke’s. We will worship this Sunday on the Sea of Galilee, and will be thinking of you. You will have the privilege of hearing Rev. Elizabeth Duffin, who grew up at St. Luke’s church, break open God’s Word for you. I know you will be blessed!
Sunday, April 23
Dear Lord, I lift up all those who are overly busy and stressed. May you give insight for what of the busyness is important. May you calm the stress, and remind us that you are the Prince of Peace. Thank you, Lord, for being in the midst of all we do. Amen. -Prayer by Kymn Harrison
Monday, April 24
Dear Lord in Heaven, Thank you for each day’s blessings and opportunities to see the many ways your love for each of us is expressed and experienced. Help me to be your light for others each and every day. Amen. -Prayer by Brenda Lary
Tuesday, April 25
Lord, help us all to see the Lazarus in our life that the rich man did not see as he passed Lazarus every day. Once we have seen him, please give us the guidance to help him come to you and have a better life. Amen. -Prayer by Jack Browder
Wednesday, April 26
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this beautiful day and the amazing earth that you created. We pray for peace in our city and our country and that the leaders of our country could find a way to work together. We pray that the leaders of all the countries of the world would want peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. -Prayer by Anonymous
Thursday, April 27
Hello God, here I am again to say thank you. Thank you for the blessings of our friends, our homes, our wonderful weather, and our health. Let us meet each day with the joy that comes from knowing we are made perfect in your image. Amen. -Prayer by Sidney McKenzie
Friday, April 28
Dear Lord, please bless us with good health, grant us wisdom, and make us better disciples of Jesus Christ. Also, please bless the Church, the Choice group, the LIFT group, and Handbell Choir for they have done an excellent job in sharing your love. In Jesus name, Amen. -Prayer by Raj
Saturday, April 29
Dear Lord, we thank you for our families. We ask that you provide us with guidance and healing in our relationships. Heal broken hearts and may anger be replaced with love and peace. Amen. -Prayer by Anonymous
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