4/19/20 – “Hope in Resurrection: God with Us”

Posted on : Apr 16th, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

WeHo UCC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: WHUCC Sunday Worship April 19; Second Sunday of Easter

Time: Apr 19, 2020 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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“Hope in Resurrection: God with us”

This Sunday we continue the Easter Celebration. Easter is the holiest of all times for Christians.  As you know, this time of year many religions have holidays of reflection and celebrate liberation and hope.  We have much in common with Judaism, Buddhism, Islam. We share many of the same founding ancestors and redeeming themes. The thing that sets us apart is the resurrection of Jesus from death to life.  During these Sundays after Easter we look to ways the Risen Christ is present in our lives and in the world. We heard on Easter Sunday how the risen Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene; and that same evening the risen Christ appeared to many of the disciples.  They were locked in a room, fearful of the authorities who might come and get them as accomplices of Jesus. Through those doors came the Christ who granted them the Peace of God, the Shalom, and also conveyed upon them the Spirit of God. The disciple Thomas, known as “doubting Thomas,” was not with them the first night Christ appeared. But Christ came back a week later and showed not only Thomas, but the other disciples the wounds of his flesh so they might believe. It was not only Thomas who was doubtful and fearful, but all of them.  In fact, likely Thomas expressed the fears and doubts they all had. He inquired and explored. Jesus did not shame him for his questions. But provided him the presence of the risen Christ so that he might believe.

The disciples were fearful in that upper room due to their association with Jesus. Jesus had stood with the poor, oppressed, disenfranchised.  The ruling authorities put him to death to try and stop him and his believers from overthrowing their corrupt government. But the death of Jesus did not stop those who followed him from spreading the good news of liberation, justice and love.  Love overcame fear then and now.

We are going to celebrate Easter for seven Sundays, up until the time of Pentecost, the birthday of the church.  There are many ways to reflect upon the resurrection and Christ’s presence with us. We may not touch on all of them, but we are going to consider how it is that Christ appears to us and walks with us on our journeys.

We are a resurrection people, transformed and transforming.  

Please join us on Sunday as we consider the ways doubt, fear, and the hope of the resurrection live on in us!

 

Blessings,

Lisa

 

John 20: 19-31
The Risen Christ appears to Thomas

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the religious authorities, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  Having said this, Jesus showed them Jesus’ hands and side. Then the disciples were glad when the Sovereign Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As God the Father and Mother sent me, even so I send you.”  Having said this, Jesus breathed on them again and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Sovereign.”

But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see in Jesus’ hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in Jesus’s side,  I will not believe.”

Eight days later, the disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them.  The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands: and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”  Thomas answered, “My Sovereign and my God!” Jesus said to Thomas, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Child of God, and that believing you may have life in Christ’s name.

 

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