Breaking Open The Scriptures
Scriptures for April 11th – Acts 5:27-32; Psalm 150, Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31
Songs: Up from the Grave He Arose – UMH 322; In the Singing – TFWS 2255; Lord of the Dance – UMH 261
Instead of reading from the Old Testament, we will read from the book of Acts for the five weeks of Easter. Easter day is only the beginning of the journey – We still have five weeks to realize what Easter means for us. Acts teaches us what it means to be a witness of Christ. To live the life of Christ , no matter what. Peter and Paul are on trial for witnessing to their faith. For them this is not a tragedy, but a perfect opportunity demonstrate their faith. Their defense to the court – we have to obey God rather than man. And through the events of the resurrection God tells us all to go out in the world and make disciples through the power of the Holy Spirit. So what is stopping you from obeying?
The rest of our scriptures for today seem to focus on what it means to be a witness. They are for people who know that Jesus us real, but don’t know what that means. John is for those who are not sure. They would witness, but have not reason to. And yet, Jesus is prepared in either scenario to give us what we need to go forward – the support of the Holy Spirit to live in Christ.
Questions: Is it wrong to doubt? Were we wrong to vilify Thomas?
Compare and contrast the disciples in John's account, doors locked for fear (John 20:19), with the disciples in Acts who refused to be silenced (Acts 5:28-29). Why are the disciples in John different from the disciples in Acts? [Digging deeper, are there similarities between either the disciples in Acts or those in John and members of your congregation?