Week 2: Unless I See
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants name groups they are skeptical of (large corporations, government agencies, churches, certain people, and so on).
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read: John 20:19-31
- This passage is dense with concepts and ideas (forgiveness; how does the risen Christ walk through doors or walls?; the relationship between believing and seeing, and so on). Work as a group to write out the questions that surface for participants in this passage. Work together to find answers to them. Seek out the help of the pastor (and staff) to give additional insight.
- Can you identify with Thomas’s skepticism about the disciples’ claim (v. 25)? Why or why not?
- Some have referred to the modern American culture as an age of skepticism. Do you think that is accurate? How might that influence some people’s reluctance to share the good news?
- What one sign (v. 30) would you wish to see that might strengthen your belief?
- How does our faith grow in times when we don’t “see” God’s presence around us? How can this group encourage you and help strengthen your beliefs?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Merciful God, we are amazed that almighty God would come and live among us. Dying and rising from the grave seems almost impossible to comprehend. We give you thanks that you are beyond our imaginations, for if we could understand you, you would be only as large as our imaginations. Help us to trust you and to continue believing that we might see even more how you are at work in the world. Amen.