“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (John 20:29)
In spite of all we have heard and all that we have seen, it is often hard to believe. Because it is hard to believe, we will invest ourselves in the Easter mystery for fifty days (a week of weeks). Because it is hard to believe, John the evangelist will provide sign after sign celebrating Jesus’ victory over death. Because it is hard to believe, the Lord Jesus will return to us again and again in the mystery of the holy communion, inviting us to touch and taste his presence, and offering us his peace.
Sunday Worship Music
Sunday’s Worship Music — ELW 635 — We Walk By Faith — The apostles behold the wounds of Jesus in today’s Gospel reading, but we will not see them in person while we live. Today’s hymn of the day captures this theme and prays to God for help with our unbelief.
New Day Worship Song — I Will Rise — We sing these words in the Worship Song refrain … “And I will rise when He calls my name, No more sorrow, no more pain, I will rise on eagles’ wings, Before my God fall on my knees.” These words remind us that the promise of the resurrection is at the heart of our faith.
For Your Reflection
Like Thomas we are always at risk of doubting. Faith in God that no longer has the earthly Jesus walking around with us, can feel like… well … a bit disembodied. That is why our belief in the “real presence” of Jesus in our communion meal is so critical to our faith life. For in the Lord’s Supper we make the bold claim that Jesus is truly presence among us. We don’t quite go as far as Catholics to point to a moment when earthly elements of bread and wine mystically become body and blood … called transubstantiation … and thus we do not ring bells announcing that moment of transformation. But as Martin Luther liked to frame it, Jesus is truly present “in, with and under” everything that occurs in our Eucharistic meal. In the people present, in the prayers we offer, in the songs we sing, in the bread and wine, and in liturgy we offer to God. Jesus is really here. You and I cannot ruin that nor corrupt it. It is dependent neither on our good heart or good works. God does the heavy lifting by offering grace freely through this meal. Amen to that!