Yesterday, the sermon was about the disciples hiding in fear behind a locked door. The disciples felt overwhelmed because of the threat of those in power in the political and religious community. They literally feared for their own lives and the lives of those with whom they had become family.
In these times where we are also in the midst of threats of political and religious extremists, it also often feels overwhelming. There are shootings and mass murders in churches and synagogues, burning of black churches, persecution of LGBT people and our rights are threatened, sexism, Sri Lanka, women’s rights are threatened, children are being taken from their families and suffering and it continues to worsen. Hope is on the horizon and change will happen.
The disciples had been told by the women that the tomb was empty. Yet they remained in fear in the midst of their disbelief. When Jesus appeared to them he did not scold or reprimand them. Jesus offered them “Peace.” Jesus breathed on them and also gave them the gift of the holy spirit. Jesus asked Thomas what he could do for Thomas’ lack of faith. Thomas needed to touch the nail marks in Jesus’ hands and put his hand in the wound on Jesus’ side. Jesus allowed him to do so. The divine offers us a personal intimate spiritual relationship with her.
In our community, we are witnessing a tremendous amount of interfaith connection. If you aren’t involved already, I invite you to learn more about our brothers and sisters of different faiths. We are learning that we have a lot more in common than differences and that “love” is the connection that ties us together. There is power in the unity of our interfaith community and with that power and working together the changes that are needed will happen.
Jesus treated those who were overwhelmed with patience, love and kindness. Jesus could have chosen to be angry and upset and to reprimand his followers, but he chose love. Love opens doors and opens minds! Together Change Will Happen!
Jesus was a powerful example.
Rev. Patrick Rogers, MDiv.
United Church of Christ Fort Lauderdale