...those who haven't seen...

Week 17, Day 2 Joh 20.19-19 “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” John 20.29 Poor Thomas. For 2000 years now he’s been getting a bad rap. In the gospels he is always called “Thomas, the Twin”. But we know him only as Thomas, the Doubter. And ever since that first Easter evening anyone who finds it difficult to believe without hard, physical proof, has been labeled a “Doubting Thomas”. Some of us wear that label proudly. We don't want to appear gullible. We think withholding judgment and standing our ground proves our intelligence and our nerve. Some of us come by the label honestly. We just find it difficult to give our assent to things we can’t touch, ta

…the sins of any…

Week 16, Day 4 04-15-18 John 20. 22-23 “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.’” One of the curious efficiencies of human language (at least the couple I know a little bit about) is their capacity for expressing ideas without using words. For example, if I say to a group of people “Everyone is welcome here” and then point to one person and say “You, too”, you will hear me saying to that individual, “You (are welcome here) too”. That middle phrase “are welcome here” is implied and heard without being spoken. This saves words and works w

…they are forgiven them…

Week 16, Day 3 04-15-18 John 20. 22-23 “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.’” This interesting and puzzling saying of Jesus is set in the middle of the larger story we are reading this week—the meeting, a week after the resurrection, between Jesus and (doubting) Thomas. The full text is below and you would do well to read that through a couple of times before proceeding. It’s that last phrase in the quote above that I have always found unsettling: “if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”. Something about that sends chills do

“… until he broke the bread!”

Luke 24. 13-35 —When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ (The entire text for this week is below) Fueled by those burning hearts, Cleopas and his companion jump up from the table and run the 7 miles back to Jerusalem because they have to tell their story—that Jesus was with them for 3 hours, talking with them, opening the Scriptures to them. But, they say, “we didn’t know who he was until he broke the brea

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