Prepare: You really only need someplace to run in from – or some other way to make a BIG entrance. If you can swing it, be a little late, but have the other worship leaders play up that you are missing the Children’s sermon.
But, do you know how you feel right now? You were thinking, “No way, there was no dinosaur. He’s/she’s just making that up to make me think there is one, or to make me look silly when I go check.”
Well, I think that’s the feeling that one of the people in the Gospel lesson had. That person is Thomas. Have you ever heard someone called a doubting Thomas? Sometimes people use that name for people who don’t seem to trust what other people are saying. Doubting Thomases want proof, something they can see and touch – they don’t want to trust other people’s story
You know what I think? I think that Thomas, the guy in the story, is treated pretty badly. Did you hear what Thomas didn’t believe? Ok – here’s the story: It’s just a few days after Thomas and all the disciples saw Jesus die on the cross. Just a few days after they all saw Jesus buried in the tomb. All the disciples are gathered together, except for Thomas. He was out getting snacks or something. Jesus shows up, all the other disciples see Jesus, but Thomas isn’t there! So when he gets back and they all say they saw Jesus, Thomas wants some proof. It’s kind of like they said they saw a dinosaur. You guys didn’t believe that when I said it. You wouldn’t believe it until you saw it for yourself! Thomas didn’t believe be cause he didn’t get to see while his friends did.
You know what? I think that most of us are much more like Thomas than the other disciples. We want to see and touch before we believe. Jesus has some words for us, too! We don’t get to see Jesus the way the disciples did, but we still believe, and Jesus blesses us for that! Even though most of the time we might feel a little more like Thomas, and a little less like blessed believers!
Risen Christ, you show up for us in the most unexpected places. Sometimes we have to look twice to believe what we hear and see and touch. Help us to believe even when we don’t see, and be with us when we have a hard time trusting only what we can hear. Amen.
Make some congregational art! Get some bright paper (preferably something thin) cut into smallish pieces, and some markers. Have people write or draw something that they believe on the paper. If you worship space allows, have them tape the paper to a window so that light shines through. Encourage them to tape the paper in the shape of a cross. If that doesn’t work in your worship space, collect the paper and make the cross later on a prominent window in you church.