Sermon, Second Sunday of Easter April 11, 2021
Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133; 1John1:1-2:2; John 20:19-31
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt. Amen.
Our deepest sympathy to Her majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family on the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.
This morning, I would like us to think about the joy of having the Lord with us.
Just imagine the disciples on the day of the resurrection. Doors are closed and inside them are frightened, confused and uncertain followers because the one they thought was very powerful had been crucified as a criminal. The last thing anyone wanted, was to be regarded as a friend or an accomplice of a criminal. So, removing themselves from the public was a sensible thing to do.
Memories of Jesus’ signs, miracles, terror from his arrest, torture and killing were still very fresh in the minds of his disciples, apostles and followers. Their doors remained locked until their master and friend appeared to them. Jesus greeted them, acknowledged their doubts by showing them his wounds, and calling for peace in their lives. What a great joy in their hearts when they saw and acknowledged that it was the Lord and not a ghost!
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. (John 20:20)
The joy that the disciples received when they saw the Lord was far greater than the fear they had when they first went in hiding. This is the same joy they exhibited when Thomas returned to be told that they had seen the Lord. They witnessed to the resurrected Christ to Thomas. However, Thomas (just as the other disciples) had forgotten what Jesus had told them about his suffering, death and resurrection.
Would this have been one of the reasons that the disciples were frightened and surprised when they saw Jesus? Was Thomas far off when he denied right out what his friends had told him about Jesus’ appearance?
“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.” (John 20:25)
Thomas may be considered the patron of the doubters but, he was the first one to proclaim the risen Christ as the “Lord and God” as soon as Jesus appeared and showed him his wounds. The other disciples were just amazed and happy to see their master and nothing more.
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! (John 20:26-28)
We are followers of the Jesus, the risen Christ. We proclaim Jesus as Lord and God, just as Thomas did. We are called to live as the original Church which in proclaiming Jesus as Lord and God, shared their resources, and lives for letting others know and head about the good news.