Father Dale's Sermon Morsals
Fourth Sunday of Easter: The Gospel story of the Good Shepherd from John's Gospel along with the reading of the 23rd Psalm is a reminder for us in the 21st century still need a shepherd in our lives. From an Old Testament perspective, this reading is very much a political statement and the roadmap to see the difference in our leaders between shepherd and wolf. From an individual standpoint, we can only drive so far down a straight road looking where we have been in the rearview mirror before we come to a curve in the road and need a shepherd to guide into the curve. Otherwise we find ourselves in the ditch waiting for our shepherd to come and care us in our vulnerable places.
Third Sunday of Easter: Hearing Luke's (24:36b-48) Gospel reading this morning we find ourselves in the upper-room again. This time, Thomas is not present and we learn from Luke that this first meeting with the Risen Jesus is not all that different from the doubts Thomas had in the second encounter. They like Thomas wanted to see the wounds of Christ from the crucifixion. Jesus asks them, "why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” The disciple now realize that their relationship, like Thomas, lives beyond the grave. They are now just beginning to realize the purpose of their calling is so much more than students of a mortal teacher. All they have learned is now to be shared with the world. Before you go out into the world I have more to teach you to Show you the way." As I ponder upon the questions the disciples may be asking, I am reminded of the song by the rock band Styx Show me the Way "wash my illusions away...Show me the way...Give me the strength and the courage to believe..." beyond the grave.
Second Sunday of Easter: We hear the story of "doubting" Thomas in the reading from the Gospel of John 20:19-31. Thomas seems very human to me, a man I can relate too. So, it always seems troubling to me to refer to him as "doubting." Doubting has such a negative implication attached. I tend to prefer "seeking" Thomas. A man seeking a relationship with Jesus that he may have believed ended at the grave, a relationship he was not ready to see end. We may also acknowledge, that Thomas really was no different from the other disciples, until they encountered Jesus in the upper room when Thomas was not with them. Did they understand their relationship with Christ would go beyond the grave until that moment when they saw the wounds on Jesus' hands and side, or did their intellectual understanding of death lie no further than the tomb? Thomas is an example for every generation in post-resurrection times that there is a relationship with God beyond the tomb, for us who "have not seen and yet have come to believe," and we too, more than two thousand year later, can say, as Thomas said, "My Lord and my God." May this Easter season continue to fill your heart with the joy of Easter Sunday.
November 1, 2015 Morning Message
October 11, 2015 Morning Message
October 4, 2015 Morning Message