"Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt, but believe.” John 20:27
I'm fairly confident that if I were with the apostles after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that I am sure that you would be reading my name instead of Thomas' in John 20! I think that I might have been the one to express doubt! It would have been difficult for the disciples, who had witnessed the appearance of Jesus, to be able to convince me that he was alive. Hey! In order for me to believe this incredible story I would have wanted to physically put my hands into the nail prints and see the scars on his body. Then, and only then, would I have been convinced!
I think we all know this account well enough and I’m sure many of us have at one time or another singled out “doubting” Thomas as we stated to others that we are glad that we aren’t like Thomas. But truth be told, we are a lot closer to Thomas than we would like to admit. I think that the words that Jesus spoke also ring very true in our ears, “Put your finger here and look at my hands. Take your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue to doubt, but believe. . . Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
But you may ask, why are we talking about this Easter text around Thanksgiving time and how does this fit into our everyday lives? Why? Because we too at times doubt God rather than believe.
- For instance how many times have we doubted that God could really help us in our lives? So we forget to turn to God first when troubles come.
- How many times have we failed to trust that God will give us everything we need to live each and every day? So we worry excessively about things that are in God’s almighty and gracious hands.
- How many times have we failed to trust that God will bless us if we faithfully and cheerfully return a proportionate amount of our income to the Lord in our thank-offerings envelopes for Church? So we give God what is “leftover” rather than giving generously and to God first.
- How many times have we as a congregation looked at the “glass half empty” thinking that things are going badly when doing the Lord’s work rather than trusting that with the Lord leading us all things are possible?
As the Lord said to Thomas “Do not continue to doubt, but believe”, may we as God’s children’s recognize that these words are also meant for us. May we too stop doubting that God can and has taken care of us in the past and the present and promises to take care of us into the future. May we stop being like Thomas and always trust that God is working all things for our good, even when we can’t see or touch our God or understand the many plans he has for our lives. May we live in daily joy and peace as forgiven children of God who are blessed with faith, forgiveness and many other physical and spiritual blessings.
Pastor Mark Gartner
On Sunday mornings, Pastor Gartner has begun a short study on the practice of Stewardship—how God wants us to use all the gifts that he has graciously given to us—whether it’s the use of our time, our talents, our treasures, our bodies, his great creation, etc. Plan on joining us for this study on Sunday mornings at 9:15am. On Monday mornings and Tuesday evenings Pastor Frey has begun a study on the letters of John the Apostle. In his first letter John expertly weaves doctrine with practice—a practical letter filled with passages on the love and mercy of Christ. Please plan on joining us as we study these interesting letters to God’s people.
NOTE: We do have audio recordings and the Lesson Sheets of these Bible Classes. If you have been unable to attend and would like these sent to you, please email Pastor Frey or Pastor Gartner.
Join us on Wednesday, November 27th at 6:30pm or Thursday, November 28th at 9:00am as we join together to give thanks to our Lord for all the gracious gifts he has given us throughout this year. Also, plan on joining us for our pie fellowship after the worship service on Wednesday—bring a pie for all to share—enjoy some Christian fellowship and taste some delicious pies!
Advent and Christmas Services and Practices
As we approach December please keep the following worship services and events along with their times in your mind that you can join us in worshiping our coming Savior!
Midweek Advent Services
December 4, 11, 17 at 10:30am and 6:30pm
Children’s Christmas Practices
December 7, 14, 21 at 8:00 am
Christmas For Kids
December 14 from 9:30-11:00am
December 14 at 1:00pm
Children’s Christmas Service
December 22 at 9:30am and 11:00am. Advent 4 at 8:00 and Monday at 6:30
Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship
December 24 at 3:00pm, 5:00pm, and 7:00pm
Christmas Day Worship with Holy Communion
December 25 at 9:00am
New Year’s Eve Worship with Holy Communion
December 31 at 6:30pm