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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: The Sunday After

There are two kinds of pokey. The way we feel the week after Holy Week, and the picky kind of pokey of a person who has to stick his finger in Jesus to be sure.

Oh, you have some other choices for this coming Sunday. You can hang with Peter, who is getting in trouble with the authorities, or you can head for Revelation.

Or you can take a vacation, but if you're reading this column, I will assume you are not doing that!

It's my experience that where Thomas is concerned we jump too quickly to dismissing him, when in fact many of us really would like to see some proof, so how can we not identify with him at times? I think it's also instructive to look at his other appearances in John's gospel (the Lazarus story in Chapter 11, and in Chapter 14 during the Farewell Discourse) and use those to build a sense of who this follower might have been in more fullness than John 20 allows taken by itself.

So, where are you headed this week? You may find all the texts listed here. Join us in the comments and let's talk this over.

(The painting is Caravaggio's "The Incredulity of Thomas," which I found at -- please don't laugh -- Lostpedia.)


  1. Oh, hey, thanks for posting Songbird! You are the greatest.

    Also, love this picture.

    I'm preaching this week - planning on the Psalm and the Rev passage since, as an associate pastor, I've preached on Thomas so. many. times. But, it's such a good story that I'm feeling a little regretful.

    Anyway, what I have is a sermon title (for once, one I like) called God's ABC's. We'll see where that goes.

    If you are looking for a full fledged sermon to borrow on Thomas, btw, here's one that I did three years ago thats not bad (kind of serious for the Sunday after easter, but maybe you are into that.) Feel free to use all or in part.

  2. Knowing that this would be a short week (I get to spend all day tomorrow at what promises to be a PResbytery executive meeting). I chose to go with Camping Sunday this week. I still have to preach but preaching on camp is hardly a challenge.

  3. It's the deacon's turn this Sunday so I've already started working on the week after this. I was a little confused when my secretary gave me this Sunday's bulletins to proof and the texts didn't match what I was working on! So I gave up and decided to begin working on hymns for Pentecost.
    I agree that Thomas is where many of us have been or still are. I'm looking forward to hearing what the deacon will have to say. Thomas is the patron saint of my birth parish.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Is anyone incorporating Holy Humor or Bright Sunday ideas into their service?

  6. No problem, Juniper!
    I'm going with Thomas. I haven't preached about him all that much as I've usually had this day off, at least from preaching. I'm going to read over the old sermon, hopefully it will convince me to write a new one!

  7. I too am working a week ahead as the 17/18th will be my last weekend in my current setting and I'm not preaching this coming weekend. It's such a mixed feeling--the joy of the Easter season, the joy of new beginnings for me, but also the sadness of leavning people I love and the sadness of those who love me.

  8. Let me try this again, my previous comment seemed a bit abrupt. This congregation needs to know it is OK to wrestle with God, to wrestle with texts, to wrestle with their faith. So, Thomas is up for me.

  9. At text study today, I noted that Jesus gave them the gifts of peace and the Holy Spirit, and gave them the callings to be sent out, and to forgive and retain sins.

    Not sure where this will take me, but those are what caught my attention today.

  10. I'm dealing with an church that needs the message from earlier int he passage: as the Father sends me, I send you. So I'm going with that and with the Acts passage to back it up.

  11. As another former associate pastor, I, too, feel like I've done Thomas a lot, but at the same time I can't seem to remember what I've done. However, I know I've done that first part of the story in this congregation once, so I'm not really feeling up to it again. Last year I decided to preach all of the John passages in Easter, and I will NOT be doing that again this year. Yikes, it was really hard for me. A lot of discourse and I really like narratives.

    So, that said, I think I'm going to tackle Acts this Easter. I'm not sure I've ever preached anything but Pentecost and Saul's conversion from Acts. I don't think.

    So, this week is Peter's bit about obeying God and not human authority. I think I can play around in that a bit, but I don't know where or how quite yet. I had my Lent so well planned, and I kept meaning to get around to planning my Easter season, too, but I never did. Now I'm doing it because I only have 5 more sermons until maternity leave!!!! I can plan that! (Especially when one will be a repurpose from the former congregation for sure!)

    Will think more and hopefully be back tomorrow with more to add.

  12. Wait, wait, you forgot the OTHER kind of pokey....

    You know, the kind where people who didn't witness the Resurrection go off by themselves in a huff and proclaim the others made it all up and it's completely false and unbelieveable.

    You could call this kind...

    the "hokey" pokey.

    (Okay, I'm leaving now.)

  13. LOL @ MC!
    I am going the Acts passage, as I have done Thomas several times being an associate.

  14. I'm making a little more progress with the Acts stuff, but less with this particular week and more with the plan for the whole Easter season. In reading the intro to the Working Preacher discussion of this week's Acts portion I sort of got my organizing theme for the season - building resurrection communities or being an Easter church. That is all these little snippets from Acts give us snapshots of how some of the earliest believers in the resurrection responding in their life together which gives us guidance in how we can live as resurrection communities, too. How they "did church" had to have been very directly related to what they believed about the risen Christ, so we'll look at some characteristics of what they did and how they lived/worshiped/worked together in light of the resurrection to make some applications to our own church and life together. I think it works particularly well with the season of discernment and longer-range planning we are under-taking during this season, too.

    Anyway, what's that mean for this week? The quick and dirty seems to be that our direction comes not from human authority (whether legal or cultural expectations), but from God. Still not much more than that, but there's still time.

  15. New commentor - new pastor.... I'm going with Thomas and this idea as quoted from WOUNDED LORD by Robert H. Smith - "What the pasges of this gospel proclaim is not so much that Jesus is like God but rather, God is like Jesus with his wounds." Thomas only declares Jesus Lord and God after seeing that he is wounded, like us.

  16. Welcome church lady! Congratulations on your new vocation!

    Love the direction you are going, btw.

  17. Liz- I'm doing Holy Humor Sunday. Did it last year and the congregation loved it.

  18. I'm working with Thomas this week.

    A few years ago I did Humour Sunday - we did the entire service in reverse order. It was a blast. I started with the Benediction and worked toward the Welcome, just before coffee time. (Not an original idea, btw, I read about it somewhere - quite likely here - but it went over REALLY well)

  19. Getting here late this week because I've been too busy partying. I'm in Virginia. Have had a few days retreat and I'm now on vacation but I promised my friend I would preach this Sunday - which I'm glad to do. I wrote a reflection a few weeks ago that will be part of the sermon - though I'll have to explain some of the terms for my american friends LOL. Other than that, I have some work to do on the rest of it! Maybe I'll be dropping in to the party on Saturday - after a chocolate fest we're going to.

  20. Morning Sisters, I have to say that quick because it's 11:30. Ah Thomas, but I think I'm looking at it as all of them, disciples, are forgiven. Jesus comes in doesn't ask where they were when he needed them..and says... Peace, Three times in the passage he says Peace...
    I'm winding down an interim and think they need to hear this message as they call someone new on board before too long.
    Oh and pray for me I have an interview for a new interim Sunday afternoon
    Thanks Blessings

    Oh and hokey pokey...ha ha ha


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