Low Sunday: At least that’s what some call this day. On the Sunday after Easter, there is a general let down. It is hard to maintain the heights that we attain on the celebration of Resurrection Day. The pastor is often on vacation; the choir scales back. Even in this still uncertain time of pandemic, there might be a tendency to relax a little bit on this week. Resist that tendency!
Certainly, we can understand the need for rest and recuperation after a busy season. The calendar may not be as full as the previous weeks, or even season. But that doesn’t mean the enthusiasm and the hope needs to diminish.
The theme for the week is Thomas and his need to see something real before his belief can kick in. Well, let’s admit, we all want that. We all find it easier to believe when we can see something. So, let this service be a time of showing. But what do we show? We show the gospel at work in people’s lives. We show the difference it makes in how we live each day. We show a motivating hope that keeps joy at work in the community of faith.
In other words, you show your own story, your own people, your own mission and service. What stories of transformation can you tell? What examples of hope clinging in difficult situations can you show? What can people see that shows that faith is alive in this people of God? This can be done with testimony from individuals or groups; it could be a slide show of a local mission or service project; it could be a children’s choir or pictures from the virtual VBS you ran last summer; it could be a listing of all the discipleship/Bible study groups at work in the church. Do whatever it takes to announce to the gathered congregation that we are alive and hands on in our faith – even with physical distancing! What Thomas cried for was something real, not just empty words. Thomas’s question is the world’s question: “What do you have to show us about your faith? How can we see the risen Christ through you?” Unless I see.
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.