Summary: Do you sit with Thomas, as one seeking? Do you sit with the others, still excited from the week before? Perhaps you sit on your own, neither excited nor doubting. May you proclaim as Thomas did "My Lord and My God".

For those not familiar with an Anglican Service there are four readings prior to the Message. The readings assigned for today are: Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133:1-5; 1 John 1:1-2:2 and John 20:19-31

So ......here we are..... One week after Easter.

How has this week been .....for you?

How are you this day, .....exactly one week.... after Easter?

Is the excitement of Easter.... still in the air .....or has it begun to fade?

Has it vanished ......all together?

I ask these questions .....because in our text, .....we find the disciples.... again gathered together ......exactly one week.... after Easter.

Before dealing fully with how we feel,..... let us begin to understand.... how these disciples of Christ are doing...... one week .....after Easter.

Our text from John.... gives us a glimpse back to Easter Day ......to the splendid revelation of God's glory ......of Christ's resurrection.

The disciples are huddled in fear behind a locked door .....Jesus appears to them,... and when he does .....he not only reveals his resurrection, .....he also breathes ......an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.... upon them.

Now, .....for some reason... Thomas was absent from the other disciples.

He did not see Jesus..... that night.

The others are sharing the wonderful news with him........ "We have seen the Lord!" (John 20:25)

But what proof..... do they bring? (PAUSE)

They bring .....Only their words.

John earlier in his gospel .....has already described Thomas for us:

As a courageous pessimist, ....and as an honest skeptic, ....so it is not surprising that his response is .....BIBLE "I will not believe .... Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands.... And put my finger in his side." END (John 20:25)

He must have been from the Missouri section of the Holy Land.... "The Show me State".

This catches us up ....with the heart .....of today's message.

One week after Easter, .....the very same room where Jesus appeared before... the disciples .....sit in excitement.

However .....I find it quite intriguing ......that they are still behind locked doors......Yet I can imagine them sitting .....in excitement.

And I can picture Thomas... probably sitting with his arms crossed, .....ankles crossed, .....and brow furrowed.

The stage is set: .....Ten disciples .....who "know" .......and wait anxiously; ......one disciple who doubts, ......who only has the words of the others..... to go by.

I would like to step back ..... for a moment.

I think it is far too easy for us.... to judge Thomas.

I am convinced it is easy to make him into a "straw man" .....and blow him over ....with the verse..... BIBLE "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." END (John 20:29)

Those words must have pierced... Thomas heart.

Some may call it a sermon here .....and go home.

"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29) .... That is a powerful blessing.

Yet... if each of us were honest, .....we would see that Thomas.... is not the loneliest Christian ever.

I would venture .....that every one of us .....at some point .....has walked side by side with Thomas ......in the state ....of doubt.

It is in our very nature .....to doubt what we cannot see.

It might as well have been us sitting there with the other disciples... arms crossed, ....ankles crossed, .....and Brow fur-rowed. (PAUSE)

Are you able to trust ......are you able to believe ....without seeing.

Yes....Thomas doubted.

And yet, ......which of us can claim the right ......to throw the first stone at him.

Which of us .....has never had the smallest bit of doubt.

(Slow) Our relationships with others .....can cause us .....to be skeptical and to doubt. (Long Pause)

Two brothers were getting ready to boil some eggs ......to color for Easter.

"I'll give you a dollar .....if you let me break three of these of these raw eggs on your head,"...... said the older one.

"Promise?" asked the younger. "Promise!"

Gleefully, ....the older boy broke two eggs over his younger brother's head.

Standing stiff ....for fear that the gooey mess would get all over himself, ......the little boy asked, "When is the third egg coming?"

"It's not," .....replied the older brother.

"If I Broke the 3rd .....That ......would cost me a dollar." (Pause)

At times ....it is difficult to trust others .....but we can have assurance in.... We can trust ..... of our Heavenly Father.

One day, .....while my son Justin and I were out in the woods, ......I heard a voice yell, "Hey Dad! Catch me!"

I turned around to see Justin .....joyfully jumping off a rock .....straight at me.

I became an instant circus act, .....catching him.

We both fell to the ground.

For a moment .....after I caught him ......I could hardly speak.

When I found my voice again .....I gasped:

"Justin! ......Give me one good reason why you did that?"

He responded with remarkable calmness:

"Because...... you're my Dad."

His assurance that I would catch him.....was based on his understanding .......that his father was trustworthy.

Beloved....that is even of greater importance .......for us .....who call ourselves Christians.

I know .....that I have surely let down my children .....but we can have assurance..... in the trust .....of our Heavenly Father.

We can assurance in ....and trust His Holy Word!

Perhaps you are just like Thomas, ......and struggle to believe, ......wishing you could receive a firsthand revelation.

Fortunately for Thomas ....and for us, .....that is not the end .....of the text.

Thomas is not left .....sitting there doubting.

The text now turns to a wonderful message..... of grace.

Jesus appears in the room with all the disciples,...... and he directly addresses Thomas.

Jesus knew ......he had been excluded from the special revelation .....the night he appeared ....to the others.

Jesus knew .....what that last week .....must have been like ....for Thomas.

Just ponder that for a moment... the only disciple left out.

The only disciple .....with nothing but the words of others .....to go by.

The one disciple ......most like us today.

Thomas,..... the one left out, .....spent that entire week...... wrestling ...... with his doubts.

Now, ......Jesus does not lecture him, .....chastise him, ......or discipline him for doubting.

Instead Jesus gave him peace, ......and in his mercy, .....gave Thomas..... that which he needed..... in order to move ......beyond his doubt.

And now a marvelous event..... is about to happen.

It is at this moment .....that something new .....is about to occur.

Throughout the book of John, ......Jesus is Lord... to his disciples, ....to Mary Magdalene, .....to all his followers... and now and only now, ........Thomas proclaims, ......"My Lord and my God." (John 20:28)

Thomas gets it.

Not only does he get it, ......but he gets it..... in a deeper ......and much more profound way.

Jesus who was once Lord .....has now become ......Lord and God....... "My Lord and My God".

Like Thomas, ......there are times .....we will be challenged.

There are times ....when we .....will doubt.

The very best of news..... is this...... God meets us where we are.

God does not let us sit there forever... arms crossed, .....ankles crossed, .....and brow furrowed.

In our time of doubt ....we will search, ....we will examine,.... We will question.

And when we do .....we will gain a stronger and deeper understanding......of God,...... and our relationship with him.

Remember God's promise "......Seek and you will find. Knock and the door.... will be open unto you." (Matthew 7:7 Luke 11:9)

As humans beings .....we are called to walk in both .....the flesh .....and the Spirit.

".....Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open unto you". (Matthew 7:7 Luke 11:9)

This is an eternal promise that God has given you..... a promise...... that you can hold on too...without.... any doubt.

One week after Easter.

One short week.

Can you picture yourself ......in that crowded little room, .....door locked, ......sitting with the disciples...

Where do you sit?

Do you sit with Thomas, ......as one seeking?

Do you sit with the others, ....still excited from the week before?

Perhaps you sit on your own, .....neither excited nor doubting.

Now picture Jesus as he stands before you ......inviting you to see the nail prints in his hands .... To touch his side.

You are spiritually moved .... The reality of who he is...... has overcome you.

And you hear yourself proclaim as Thomas: .......

(Slow) "My Lord .....and ....My God."

Blessed are those ......who have not seen .......and yet have believed. (John 20:29)

Beloved you are Blessed....

Blessed to be a Blessing!

Amen and Amen!

I received much insight from a Sermon by Spencer Homan titled "One week after Easter (Back to normal)" and I commend it to you.

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