The members and friends of Chilmark Community Church of
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, welcome you to their worship service on this second Lord’s Day of the Resurrection
–second Sunday of Easter.
Our Gospel reading is from the Gospel according to Saint John,
chapter 20, verses 19- 31. It tells of “Doubting Thomas.” In it,
Thomas is the example of what Jesus has to say about the nature of knowledge and faith. Jesus came to the disciples in the Upper Room the first time and said, “Peace be with you.”
Thomas was “not with them when Jesus came.” Jesus showed them his hands and his side as marks of his authenticity.
Jesus pointed out , “’As the Father has sent me so send I you.’
Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
When those disciples reported what happened to Thomas, Thomas did not believe. He said, “Unless I see the mark of the
nails in his hands, and put my figure in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later, Thomas was with the disciples and Jesus again appears. Jesus said to the disciples, including Thomas, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Come, put your finger here and
see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Be not faithless, but believing.” Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God.”
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed only because you have
seen? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. ” Jesus bore, in his body, the marks of suffering, sin and shame ; and it is these that became the proof of his verification and authenticity.
What are our marks of suffering, sin and shame that authenticate our faith in Christ Jesus? Notice Jesus’ words to Thomas, “Be not faithless, but believing?” Let us remember that knowledge comes to us in different ways and forms and from different sources. Can knowledge come through faith or the lack of faith, even as it came to Thomas ?
May the resurrected Christ continue to show himself to us this day and throughout the rest of our lives! May faith and even
faithlessness lead us to new knowledge and belief so we may
be led to do God’s will.
In the name of the Risen Christ of faith,
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)