Weekly Devotion and Lectionary

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Doubt and Sight
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. John 20.24

Thomas was not there. He doubted that Jesus had been raised from the dead. So, often he is called doubting Thomas. While that might not be fair, John records this incident for a reason. For John seeing is believing.

Thomas was by no means weak. In John 11 Thomas is the one disciple who speaks up when Jesus wants to go to Galilee to see Lazarus. The others know that the Jews are seeking to kill Jesus (and his followers, they presume). It is Thomas who says, "Let us also go, that we may die with him (John 11.16)." Thomas is ready to die with Jesus.

Things get much more real in the Garden. There Thomas is not so ready to die. He flees with the other disciples. Where is Thomas while Peter denies and while Jesus dies on the cross? We are not told. Maybe he was there, maybe not. Regardless, while all the other ten were cowering in the upper room for fear of the Jews, Thomas was out. Before Jesus appeared to them all the disciples doubted. Not one believed. They did not understand when Jesus told them He had to die and on the third day be raised from the dead.

But because Thomas was not there, he doubts the longest. Finally, eight days later, Jesus appears when Thomas is there. Thomas is met with the real, physical, resurrected Jesus. Thomas can touch Jesus and believe that this Jesus is real. Then John goes on to record Jesus as saying, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20.29)."

Is Jesus talking about you? You haven't seen the physical resurrected Jesus. Well, at least you weren't in the locked upper room. You have seen Jesus. As Thomas saw, as Nathaniel saw, as John himself saw; so you have seen. Seeing is believing, after all. You have seen Jesus in the way that John describes in his Gospel.

You have seen Jesus in that water welling up to eternal life. You have been born again of water and the Spirit. You have received the heavenly bread which came down from heaven. You have received the lifeblood of the Christ, flowing from His pierced side. You have seen Jesus in the Divine Service through the Means of Grace. What's more, you have received Jesus.
Jesus has come to you personally. He dispelled the sin and unbelief of your heart. He forgave you your sins. He created you a new. He gave you life in His Name. This is why John records the incident with Thomas, so show you that Jesus comes to you through extraordinary means. In ways that your sin hardened heart would never believe, Jesus comes to you.

So go where Jesus is found. Be in worship. There Jesus is, for you. There He forgives your sins and grants you strength as you live in this sinful world.

In the Name of Jesus,
Pastor Boyer

Family Devotion Time: For those of you who are new to CTK or for those parents who are finally receiving the newsletter for the first time, I try to give you as many ways to infuse Jesus into your home life as possible. One way is to ask each pastor and myself to write a weekly devotion that you may read together as a family. That is enclosed on the end of the newsletter. Another way is to provide a weekly Bible reading program and a family prayer that you may use at dinner devotions or whenever you hold Jesus Time at home. Please feel free to use this.

I would also like to share a different Bible series that you may want to use at home to start dinner time devotions. Please visit www.whatdoesthismean.org. (The link can also be found at the bottom of this page.) Once you have done so, click on the devotions tab to find an entire liturgy to use at home. These devotions are meant to be used daily for a week and then new devotions are posted. 

A brand new way to access the Bible as you spend time with your family. Mr. Charles McGathy has posted a way for parents to access a new yearly Bible reading app on Facebook. The app is called Youversion. It will look like a small icon of a Bible. One way is to ask each pastor and myself to write a weekly devotion that you may read together as a family. That is enclosed on the end of the newsletter. Another way is to provide a weekly Bible reading program and a family prayer that you may use at dinner devotions or whenever you hold Jesus Time at home. Please feel free to use this.


Lectionary Readings for This Week:

Mon. – 2 Sam 19-20; Lk 18:1-23
Tues. – 2 Sam 21-22; Lk 18:24-43
Weds. – 2 Sam 23-24; Lk 19:1-27
Thurs. – I Kg 1-2; Lk 19:28-48
Fri. – I Kg 3-5; Lk 20:1-26
Sat. – I Kg 6-7; Lk 20:27-47
Sun. – I Kg 8-9; Lk 21:1-19Mon. – I Kg 10-11; Lk 21:20-38

Family Prayer for the Week:

Dearest God, I give you praise and thanksgiving. I am grateful for this life. I want to make You proud everyday Father. So please guide me always. Inspire me to reflect Your light and love into the lives of the people I meet and worked with. May I share the same happiness and fulfillment that I received from Your grace. Amen.

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