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Pastor's Letter

Pastor's Letter - April 2024

John 20: 19-31

Jesus appears to his disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’

Jesus appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’

But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’

28 Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’

29 Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’

The purpose of John’s gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Yes, Jesus is risen! but what does resurrection mean to you? Behind those locked doors the disciples of Jesus sat with disbelief, confusion, and fear. The inability to believe Mary’s words, to take in the impossibility. The fear that they might follow to a terrorist’s death.

Jesus comes to bring resurrection and peace into those shut doors and fearful hearts. It is a resurrection that does not turn back the clock, does not erase the horror of the Friday but bears its marks and is recognised by them.  Without those marks, the pierced hands and side, the resurrection could not be real, and the life it offered could not be full.

It is a resurrection that joins the disciples when they are shut behind the closed doors of the room and in their fear. That again seeks them and Thomas out behind closed doors a week later. It’s a resurrection that will seek us out where we are and how we feel.  It does not expect us to make a leap of faith and travel towards it but comes to us and meets our needs.

It is a resurrection that offers life, calling forth peace and breathing the Spirit echoing God’s breath at the dawn of creation or the breath of the Spirit in Ezekiel’s Valley of Bones. It comes to empower and to change and to lead us onwards into the Kingdom of abundant life.

But stop, notice the closed doors, not just at the first encounter but the second time as well.  It appears Thomas isn’t the only one doubting.  The disciples are still locked in. Maybe you are feeling the same as the disciples of Jesus, locked yourself behind the closed door. I pray that you will encounter the resurrected God this Easter time in your disbelief, confusion, and fear.

Dear Lord, into the closed doors of this world and in our lives come and speak your word of peace and life.


Christvin Edbarg 

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