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    • Sunday service - Holy Communion October 2, 2022 at 9:30 am – 11:00 am Grace Church 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon, VT Website: www.gracechurchsheldon.orgTime:  09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)        Every week on Sun.Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/83929911344?pwd=alZQTWZMN0ZkWFFPS1hmNjNkZkU2UT09Meeting ID: 839 2991 1344Password: Call for detailsOne tap mobile+13126266799,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (Chicago)+19294362866,,83929911344#,,1#,816603# US (New York)Dial by your location        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)Meeting ID:…
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Second Sunday of Easter April 12, 2015

Acts 4:32-35
Psalm 133
1 John 1:1-2:2
John 20:19-31

Today’s gospel takes us back to the beginnings of our faith. It is the evening of the resurrection day. Mary Magdalene has run back and told the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!”  But they have not yet seen him.

The doors are locked because they have watched Jesus die and they are afraid of what the authorities might do. Suddenly, Jesus is with them. “Peace be with you.” he says. He shows them his wounds so that they will know that is it really Jesus. They are beside themselves with joy.

Then he breathes the Holy Spirit into them and he gives them the ministry of reconciliation. Here they are, locked in the room because of their fear which is entirely justified, and now he is sending them out into the world again to bring his healing, to build his shalom, his kingdom of peace and harmony in which everyone is safe and can have a good and useful life.

But Thomas has not been there to see this. Many people have called him “Doubting Thomas,” but I am not sure that is accurate. I have always thought of him as a practical, rather scientific person. He has to have proof. He has to see it to believe it. Not that he is necessarily a doubter.

One of my favorite scholars and preachers, Herbert O’Driscoll, has an interesting view of Thomas which I think could well be true. O’Driscoll does not see Thomas as a doubter but as the kind of person who, “when he makes a commitment  to someone or something, makes a total commitment.”

O’Driscoll continues, “Now his heart is broken by the ghastly death of  Jesus, his world is collapsed, and he is determined never to give his heart to anything again, never to trust life again, never to give his love again. But when our Lord stands in front of him, Thomas gives himself totally once more.”

There is so much truth in this. When something devastates us, it is natural to try to protect ourselves. All of the disciples are hiding behind locked doors. Yet Jesus  walks through the walls of our fear and calls us to go out into the world and knit that broken world back together again. That is what the ministry of reconciliation is all about.

Our other two lessons deal with how that is happening in the early Christian communities. In our reading from the Book of Acts, the community is of one mind and heart and soul in Christ. They share everything in common. They take care of each other.  No one goes hungry. Everyone has what he or she needs. This is a wonderful vision for all of us.

In our reading from the First Letter of John, we are hearing from someone who has been in the presence of Jesus. Think how that must have been in the early Church. The apostles traveled around to teach and preach and heal. Think what it was to meet someone who had actually sat with Jesus and shared meals with him. and learned from him. Someone who might have had his feet washed by Jesus. Someone who had touched Jesus.

John is calling us to walk in the light of Christ, which means that we are called to be loving individuals and a loving community. We can picture communities of followers of Jesus springing up all over during the first century.  From those little shoots, the Church has grown. And here we are, all these centuries later.

May we walk as children of the Light.  Amen.

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