Sunday, March 27, 2016
April 3, 2016
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for April 3rd: Acts 5:27-32; Psalm 150; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31 Theme: Jesus appears Song: Soon and Very Soon UMH 706 Acts: It is important for us to read the book of Acts during the Easter season. It shows the transformation of the disciples. This is what happens when they come out of the upper room mentioned in John. They are confident to challenge what they see going on and they pay the price for it. But they also change the world, and bring in lots of new disciples. The very people who brought Jesus to trial are now questioning the disciples. They killed him, so why are they continuing on his crime. The disciples explain that overall they have to obey God. And God has called them to reach out to others. They are examples to us that when we obey God, the Holy Spirit will forgive our sins, prepare us, and even work ahead of us to make a difference in the world. John: This is the first encounter with Jesus after the resurrection. He appears to the disciples at their biggest time of need. They are locked up in the upper room. They are convinced that all is lost and they fear for their lives. Thomas is honest about his doubts. This is still all a bunch of nonsense. Jesus realizes how important it is to guide them and to bring them forward. He also realizes how important it is to bring us forward. He tells us that we are not as lucky as Thomas. We will not be able to feel the nails in his hands. We will have to read the words and to go forward anyway. We still have a chance to see the spirit move and do its work in our world and in our time. Questions: How do you see Jesus’ presence in the world today? Who would challenge Jesus ministry today? How do you depend on the spirit in your life and work? What can you learn from the disciples about spreading the gospel? Who needs to hear the message the most?