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Summary: Everybody knows the story of doubting Thomas that there is little to add, but I have, and it is delivered in three separate parts: an Old Testament approach, an Old Testament approach with Jesus thrown in; and finally a New Testament approach.

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Word Count: 2603

This sermon was delivered to the congregation in St Oswald’s in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 1st May 2011: by Gordon McCulloch (A Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

Summary: Everybody knows the story of doubting Thomas that there is little to add, but I have, and it is delivered in three separate parts: an Old Testament approach, an Old Testament approach with Jesus thrown in; and finally a New Testament approach.

Acts 2:14a,22-32 1 Peter 1:3-9 John 20:19-31 Psalm 16

Prayer: O Lord, we pray that you speak to us in this place; in the calming of our minds; in the longing of our hearts; and in the thoughts that we form. Amen.

Gospel reading

Our Gospel reading this morning is taken from John 20, verses 19-31: “When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name”.

Introduction:

In the past I have always been given the difficult reading from which to make a sermon. Today is different, because today’s gospel reading is a very very familiar passage to everyone; even to non Christians.

I am even sure that everybody here today knows the story of doubting Thomas so well, that it gave me a problem in preparing something new; something that you have never considered before.

Well I searched, and I think I have something for you, but I will need to deliver it in three separate parts. First by using an Old Testament approach, and secondly a more familiar Old Testament approach with Jesus thrown in; and finally a New Testament approach. Note, this will be the condensed version.


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