Posts Tagged ‘Thomas’

There are three prisons in today’s readings: 

  • The apostles imprisoned for preaching Christ Jesus in Jerusalem. Acts 5:12-32 
  • John was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching Christ Jesus.Revelation 1:4-18 
  • The apostles self-imprisoned because of the fear of Jews, in a locked room. John 20:19-31

In the Gospel reading, Jesus three times blesses saying, “Peace be with you.”

“…it is good to note that the Lord does not wait for His disciples to go after Him, but He goes after them, through locked doors, greets them in a friendly manner, comforts and strengthens them in the faith of His resurrection.  He could not have done it in a kindlier manner that to offer them peace and show them His hands and side, so that they would be sure of His resurrection and would be comforted against all sorrow, fear, and terror.”

We know our wounds, our prisons.  Jesus stands at the door and knocks.  He comes in.  They knew  it was Jesus because of His wounds.  

The apostles in self imprisonment on account of the fear of the Jews, Jesus stands in their midst:  Peace be with you.  John,  Peter and the apostles are imprisoned for preaching Christ and His “Peace be with you”. 

But there are only two types of prisons in today’s Scripture readings:  imprisoned on account of the Word of God and imprisoned by our own fear and unbelief, not taking Jesus at His Word. Jesus frees in all our prisons. 

The doors were locked and Jesus stood in their midst.  Jesus came into the locked hearts of His apostles by filling them with the Holy Ghost for faith.  How?  He did not need a key. Jesus Christ is the Key. 

Jesus sends the apostles into the world locked in sin and death with message of forgiveness and eternal life, preaching Christ Jesus and Him crucified, risen for our justification; because Jesus Christ is the Key. 

“…no door of any kind, no lock, no bar could keep out Jesus Christ.” (Johann Gerhard)

Jesus Christ shows His fleshly wounds from His Crucifixion for you and I and by His wounds we are healed.  And yet He came into a locked room.  He, the very Body of Christ came into that room.  No spirit, no ghost, no ethereal being of pure spirituality walked through those walls because John reports Thomas could put his hand into His side.  How? You can not place your hand into a ghost.  The Bible does not tell us but here is a reasonable answer: when we swim and the density of our bodies is greater than the water and so parting the water, so the utter density and reality of His risen Body could part the walls (insight from Jim Prothro).  After all: this is our Lord and our God.  Jesus Christ is greater than sin, death and the power of devil.  We think that unholy trinity constitutes reality but sin, death and the devil are finally unreal, even surreal.  The devil loves the saying better the devil you know.  Jesus says do not know him. As if the Lord were saying:    I have known you.  I have passed through your sin, your death and the power of the devil holding you in fear of death. I am more real, endurable than your sin and death itself. I have tasted death for you all and I am not ashamed to be your Lord and your Brother.  I am  the Passover Lamb of all time and for you.  I have passed through the flood.  “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. The Lord’s will is for others to know Him, the key. 

O come, thou Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home; make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery.

He sent the apostles to the four corners of the world with this message, Christ is risen!  “The Gospel is not only a report of the salvation earned by Jesus, but it is the application of this message, the imparting of the forgiveness of sins.” 

‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. (The Book of Revelation)

His wounds are the faithful Word of God’s forgiveness for each and every one of us.  He opens our prisons. He comes into our hearts.  Confession and absolution is aptly titled, The Office of the Keys.  If one resists the Holy Spirit, the door is locked and shut, and sin is retained  It is the prospect of eternal sadness.  If he repents, the door is open and joy floods through His Wounds of grace for us all.  The message of the imparting of the forgiveness of sins, in Christ, is so needed in these dark days. 

Peter who knew Him in the flesh and loved Him was sent  by Jesus to people who had not seen Him and Peter preached Jesus Christ and so later Peter wrote to them: 

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

This is the very same Peter who heard the risen Christ say to Thomas His beatitude, “Blessed are are those who have not seen and have faith.

Believing in ourselves, believing in the gods of our technology, believing in our self help philosophies, atheism is on the rise.  Those gods only inspire knee knocking fear and the absence of peace.  They will do anything to debunk the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and so two points on His bodily resurrection: 

Thomas was told by His brother apostles Christ is risen.  Then Thomas made his famous statement, Unless I put my hands in his side, etc. I will not believe:  but Thomas did not believe the eyewitness of his brother apostles!  The brother apostles did not believe the eyewitness of their sisters in Christ!  Thomas did not believe the Word of God.  He then heard the Word of God, the Word of Christ, Thomas, put your hands in my side.  Different than the old song, put your hands in hand of the man of Galilee, is Put your hands in the side of the man of Galilee. Thomas heard and believed.  These are written that you believe.  Remember, the prowling lion the devil, seeking someone to devour, and the devouring sinful flesh, has tried to do a number on the Scriptures now for a century or more.  The result is we do what we want to do (Old Adam) and in the last century genocide, wars, and terror inside and out, has been unleashed upon the earth as never seen before in the history of mankind.  His wounds seek a wounded mankind. 

Second:  Easter is 50 days.  In forty days after the Resurrection Jesus bodily ascended into heaven.  Ten days later Pentecost.  On the day of Resurrection, Peter and the apostles locked themselves up for fear of the Jews..  Understandable:  if their leader was crucified, then…In fifty days, Peter faced imprisonment, and possible death,  for preaching publicly in the Temple (!), “We must obey God rather than men”.  The same Peter who denied Jesus three times, What happened?  Jesus happened. Peter denied Him thrice and thrice the risen Jesus charged Peter: Feed my sheep. Only one explanation is needed and it is written in the Bible and in the witness of Christ’s Church: Christ is risen. .Bodily and spiritually, the risen Lord sought Him after the resurrection to unlock him and the apostles.  If Jesus had not bodily risen, Peter and company would have eventually left that locked room scurrying away like rats a sinking ship.  But the ship had not sunk, for the captain was on board as He was that time on the Sea of Galilee in the storm, walking on the deep.  He is risen. 

They went out with the message of forgiveness, the Word of His Wounds, the crucified and risen Lord.  Jesus did not primarily give a new religion, but He ever gives new life.  We need His breath, the breath of the Holy Spirit day by day.  Joseph Smith, Mohammed, Buddha do not have wounds and are not risen. They are breathless and Spirit-less. The false gods of Joseph Smith and Mohammed will even assert Christ rose…but not in the wounds of our eternal forgiveness.   They just established man made religions with enough of the actual Law of God to make their religions seem real, hard and doable.  They do not bear the cross. Jesus is real and risen. We do not preach religion, we preach Christ and Him crucified.  Christ Jesus sends the Church with the actual Law of God, and the actual Gospel of God, the actual Word of God, in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father.

Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,    for his wondrous works to the children of man! 16For he shatters the doors of bronze    and cuts in two the bars of iron. (Psalm 107)

The world is locked up dying to hear of Jesus Christ’s indestructible forgiveness, the key of the Kingdom, faith more precious than gold, than what is seen, for even diamonds are not forever, is forgiveness in Jesus Christ, and this is always key, by His wounds ye are healed,  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

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 “…He showed them His Hands and His side.”  (St. John 20: 20)

How did they know it was Jesus?  After all, He had risen from the dead, like a diver into water, Jesus could come into a locked room.  He was in His glorified body, denser and more real than the reality He created.  The disciples knew it was the Lord because He showed them His hands and His side, the wounds of the Cross, God’s wounds.  These were the scars of the Roman soldier who lanced Him in His side, and the mark of the spikes that nailed Him to the Cross.  I focus on the Lord’s pierced hands.

In the second congregation where I was the pastor, St. Matthew’s, built during the Great Depression, has great stained glass windows:  Jesus preaching, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus healing. The now wounded hands of Christ Jesus had broken the bread and blessed the Cup. His hands blessed the children. They pointed to the Scripture as He read from the Torah in Nazareth’s synagogue.  So many times, He touched the sick and the suffering to heal and raise up.  He touched the funeral bier of the son of the Widow of Nain.   He lifted up His hands in prayer and in prayer folded them in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.  His hands lifted up in blessing.  His hands bound when He arrested.   In all the stained glasses you and I have seen in Sanctuaries, have you ever seen one stained glass in which Jesus is wielding a sword or a club, pointing at someone and yelling, making a fist…flipping the bird at someone?  Of course not, because Jesus never did so and His hands were so nailed to the Cross for what our hands have done and undone.

God’s Law commands us: Hands off!  Hands-off children for sex!  Hands off, abusing your child or spouse in abuse.  Hands off the merchandise, it’s not your.  Hands off the keyboard at the computer for porn.  Hands off  any unclean thing…and God does not make unclean things, we do.   And God’s Law points us beyond it’s necessary negative to protect us from ourselves and each other  to the positive:  hands on in love of God and love of neighbor.Hands to build, and not destroy, to write, to draw, to paint, to sew, to eat, to drink, to pray,to hold to care and protect, not to strike in hate or anger. yet, in this fallen world, we might have to pull a trigger, fight to defend against evil.  This is  the reason police and military are noble and needed vocations in the world.  We can so love and when we do not, and we preach so you may not sin, My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2: 1)

Blessed are those who believe but have not seen.  How will those who have not seen believe?  By the Word the Apostles first preached, the Word of His Wounds, “…and with His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:  5), the very Wounds of God for men and women wounded in sin, mortally wounded.  The Elizabethans had it right in their expression, God’s Wounds. All the disciples knew it was the Lord when He showed them His hands and side.  We preach Christ’s Wounds, the indelible mark of our salvation.  His wounds are the sign of forgiveness and our wounds healed in His forgiveness can give witness to the crucified and risen Lord.  “…and with His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53). Wounds left uncared for will fester and become infected.  Even such a small wound untreated will become worse with infection.  Even when we think the trespass is no big thing, a mere peccadillo, we begin to think all wrong is such and it was not a mistake that the Lord went willingly to the Cross, but the sin of the world a world and its enormity, and  we can be much too much part of in its darkness. This meme is based upon a liberal church body’s slogan, God’s Work, Our Hands but this meme here is more like it.  It was the hands of so called justice that drove nails in and with the spite and venom of us all, biting and devouring each other.  We do not know our good works, we know alone God’s good work:  His Son’s death and resurrection alone.  In sign language, the sign for Jesus is:

The Church’s sign as well.

We do not need a Cross tattooed to our bodies to be reminded of the grace of the crucified and risen Lord forgiving us. Our wounds leave scars, body and soul.  Our wounds healed in the Lord’s forgiveness are trophies of the Lord’s grace for each and every one us.  Our wounds are a sermon of His forgiveness for us.  The disciples fled from His Cross.  Peter denied Him three times.  Jesus did not come back to get them, to strike them with His hands but to show them His hands and His side, the wounds of their forgiveness and ours in His perfect patience.  He breathed on  the Apostles the Holy Spirit with the charge to forgive the repentant, and to retain the sins of those not repentant so they may turn to the Lord again, abounding in steadfast love.  The breath of the Holy Spirit is the Word of the Gospel, His forgiveness as His hands show forth the proof of His Word.

What binds us together as Christ’s Church is not our shared spiritual experiences.  We are bound together by faith, not by experience.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).  Jesus Christ binds us together, the Word made flesh.  When even well-meaning Christians attempt to bind a congregation in their best life now, the only thing that happens is, we are in a bind. When we sin, we have the Advocate with the Father, and it’s not us!  The Lord gave the Holy Spirit to the disciples so that the fruit of Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death could be distributed.  The fruit is His forgiveness by His grace, mercy and peace in God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

This forgiveness is hands-on.  Jesus sent His apostles.  Jesus hands on His hands-on forgiveness to Thomas as well in the good confession: My Lord and my God, the entirety of the 2nd Article of the Creed in a nutshell.  1 John 1: 1:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life…

This is the apostolic witness.  Jesus is our  Advocate when we sin and word “advocate” in Greek is “paraclete”, another Name for the Holy Spirit. Paraclete also means “Comforter”.  Jesus has brought the wounds of the Cross into heaven itself.  His Blood is the “propitiation”, the atonement for, “…the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)  Not just some sins, but all trespass, and not limited to the elect but for all so that many believe and be saved.

The Lord is patient as we see in His resurrection as He sought the lost, the afraid and mourning disciples.  1 Corinthians 13:  “Love is patient“.   1 Timothy 1, the Apostle Paul ids himself as the “foremost of sinners” who persecuted the Church, so that , “…Jesus might display His perfect patience.  The Apostle Peter wrong in his second letter, chapter 3, verse 9:

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

The word is Greek for patience is “makrothumia” and is better translated in the King James:  long-suffering.  “Macro”, opposite of “micro”, long and thumia, suffering.  The Lord suffered long in His life upon earth and the risen Lord, bearing the wounds, still long-suffers for us.  He has made us His own.

Luther:  “Whoever touches a Christian believer touches the apple of God’s eye”.  When I was in Jerusalem, our Israeli guide, Ari, at every site associated with Jesus, the Ascension, the Garden of Gethsemane,would tell our group, “This is an authentic site of Jesus”.  We do not have to go to Jerusalem for authentic sites of Jesus.  You are. Where the Baptized are, the Holy Communion shared, the forgiveness of sins extended, when one repents and returns to the Lord our God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love: these are all authentic sites of Jesus Christ.  His hands-on forgiveness and with Him faith, hope and love, marks us as His own, so we out of pure faith love as He first loved us.  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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Collect of the Day
Almighty and ever-living God, You strengthened Your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in the resurrection of Your Son. Grant us such faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that we may never be found wanting in Your sight; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  

Appointed Scripture for this day:  

Judge 6:  36-40

Psalm 139: 1-12

Romans 10: 8b-15

St. John 1:  35-42a

All four Gospels mention St. Thomas as one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. John’s Gospel, which names him “the Twin,” uses Thomas’s questions to reveal truths about Jesus. It is Thomas who says, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” To this question Jesus replies, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:5-6). John’s Gospel also tells how Thomas, on the evening of the day of Jesus’ resurrection, doubts the report of the disciples that they had seen Jesus. Later, “doubting Thomas” becomes “believing Thomas” when he confesses Jesus as “my Lord and my God” (John 20:24-29). According to tradition, Thomas traveled eastward after Pentecost, eventually reaching India, where still today a group of people call themselves “Christians of St. Thomas.” Thomas was martyred for the faith by being speared to death.

 (Collect and Intro from The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

 Reflection on St. Thomas and this Verse:

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.            St.John 20: 29

 We may think that our Lord’s only Beatitudes are those recorded in St. Matthew 5 at the  beginning of His Sermon on the Mount.  No, they are throughout the Gospels including this one to Thomas and us all.  In a sense, Thomas was privileged in his doubt to be an example of the maxim “seeing is believing”.  But our Lord’s beatitude directs us to the more Biblical understanding of the centrality of the Word of God:  hearing is believing.

14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  (Romans 10)

The Lord was preparing Thomas and his brethren for the apostolic Ministry of preaching and teaching the Word of God, the Word of His Gospel to repentant sinners for many to hear and so believe.  Even what Thomas and the apostles saw that first evening of the new creation were wounds of a crucifixion.  Not glorious by any stretch of worldly imaginations  but glorious in love’s pure light who died for sinners…as Thomas, as you, making faith.  His wounds are preached scars of our forgiveness in the One Who alone is the way, the truth and life, no one else, as Thomas also heard.  Pastors are called to preach the blood, preach the manger, preach the cross: preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  And Thomas was called to preach His wounds! From His side flowed water and blood (John 19:34), Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.  Pastors are called to administer the Sacraments.  Thomas’ eyes were blessed in seeing but his feet were beautiful in the sermon he preached: Jesus Christ.

Crown him the Lord of love.
Behold his hands and side,
Rich wounds, yet visible above, 
In beauty glorified.
No angels in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bend their burning eyes
At mysteries so bright.

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      The disciples had locked themselves in for fear of arrest and imprisonment. Only 3 days before Jesus had been arrested, tried and executed.  They were know to be His disciples.  The “what ifs” of their predicament crashed in upon them.  The “what ifs” of life cause fear:  what if I get sick, what if the economy tanks even more, what if my candidate does not get elected, what if my children don’t do well.   We are tempted to turn to other saviors.  The disciples had all forsook Jesus and fled in the night in which He was betrayed.  They were hiding in fear for just days before they were associated with Jesus. The disciples had the key to their room…but Someone else did:  Jesus Christ.  In  fact He did not really have the key to that room, or their hearts:

  • He is the Key.
  • He is the Key of our hearts.  
  • He is the Key of forgiveness freeing us from our own prisons. Jesus Christ is the Key of peace between God and man, Christ is our peace who had broken down the wall of hostility in His blood shed upon the Cross. He stood in their midst, in that locked room and both times blessed, Peace be with you.  He did not come as the jailer, to get those disciples who had all turned tail and even denied Him, to bring them our for a summary execution.  He came to free them.  He is the Good Shepherd seeking lost.
  • Therefore, Jesus Christ is the Key of grace, to those who know their sin He shows Himself their Savior.  His sign is His wounds.  Our counter sign are our wounds.  He fulfilled the ancient prophesy of Isaiah, By His wounds we are healed. This prophesy is fulfilled every time we are forgiven. This prophesy is fulfilled when by His grace we love as He first loved us.  Grace, mercy and peace be to you from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This lesson is one of the foundation Scripture passages of the LutheranChurchfor the Office of the Keys:  to hear confession and grant absolution.  The Lord Jesus called them Keys, the Keys of the Kingdom, His reign, His rule: He said to Peter, after Peter’s confession of faith:  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Then in chapter 18, in His  sermon on forgiveness Jesus gives the Keys to all the apostles, the whole church.   Where are two or three are gathered together in His Name. Then through the Church the Lord calls men to the office of ministry to publicly hear confession and absolve those in who know their sin and are in the truth.  Yet one to one the Church is the mission of His forgiveness, His wounds, ruled not by His love of force, but by the force of His love and forgiveness.  Jesus gives them the Holy Spirit to forgive and retain sin.  Retain sin for those who are not repentant, who have spurned His grace and in the hope always of joyful repentance soon.  The Holy Spirit is given for the apostles to preach Jesus Christ, preach His wounds so that many may repent and turn toward the Lord in His wounds of grace, mercy and peace;  and  then by those who are called as pastors, following the apostolic doctrine and practice.  The Holy Spirit works alone through the Word of God, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father.

A couple of weeks ago a known Biblical scholar, Marcus Borg gave a lecture at Lexington Presbyterian.  He is part of the Jesus Seminar.  This seminar goes through the New Testament literally color-coding the Gospels as to which sayings He really said, might have said, could have said or were just plain invented by the Church.  Their Bible is not even a red-lettered edition but a rainbow one I guess.  I have a copy of the lecture notes Borg gave to his attendees. In his presentation, he asserted that we have misunderstood all along the real mission of the Church,.  Usually when someone is up to some mischief in the Church, it usually begins that way and of course the speaker has the right answer.  Salvation, Mr. Borg asserted, in the Bible, is not about being saving from our sins, quoting his lecture notes:

  • Saved means to be saved from our sins.  But in the Bible, it is seldom about being saved from sin.”
  • Redeem/redeemer/redemption” Jesus redeems us from our sins, and is the redeemer who brings about our redemption, But, in the Bible, these words have nothing to do with sin and forgiveness but refer to liberation from slavery/bondage.”

He sets up a false antithesis.  Slavery and bondage in the Bible is about slavery to sin and in bondage to sin and we cannot free ourselves.  Again:  Mr. Borg asserted that the Bible is not about salvation from sin, that is forgiveness but “justice”. He even said we should read, for instance the beatitude, Blessed are  those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied, as, “ Blessed are those  who hunger and thirst for justice?!  As I watch TV and some family members are interviewed whose son or daughter was recently murdered and what do they want: JUSTICE.  That is full weight of civil and moral law to punish the wicked.  This is not the Gospel of forgiveness in Jesus Christ and well it should not be in terms of God’s Law but even so by God’s wounds, one can repent and be forgiven.  So for Mr. Borg, the Church and her Lord are not about forgiveness…most of the Bible, he lectured,  is not about forgiveness of sinners and forgiven sinners living righteous lives by His grace alone as salt of the earth.  And here we are with only today’s Gospel, “…if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven…”

A week ago this past Thursday, on Maundy Thursday, Cullen was free in his schedule to come to the Divine Service and he asked me before hand if I could take him to a fast food place after the service. No problem.  After the service, I went over the options and, he said, Kentucky Fried Chicken sounds real good.  So we went and there was someone ahead of us and we waited.  It was not a busy night.  Finally, the folks ahead of us  got their order and we waited some more.  Finally, Cullen was waited on and I looked at the condiments, but rather quickly, Cullen came back to me, smiling widely, said, “They ran out of chicken”.  KFC ran out of chicken.  Mr. Borg’s church is KFC without the chicken, no agape, no grace, mercy and peace.  If the main dish is forgiveness then the sides are love, joy, peace…and there is no law against such.  We deserved justice, punishment, so did the apostles, but Jesus forgave them and opened their hearts and their room by the wounds of His forgiveness.  Avoid a church without chicken! They will feed you lies like  the Bible is not about forgiveness! This means Jesus did not die and rise for sinners nor did He send them out to preach repentance and forgiveness to all nations.  And by His forgiveness, we will not run out of His grace!  But a church without chicken, has terribly run out of Jesus Christ and when they do they run away like chickens from His truth.

It was not only that Thomas saw Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, that caused his confession. It was seeing His wounds, His scars…the scars of our forgiveness.  Blessed are those who have not seen, but the believing ones in the message, the sermon of His forgiveness to all who repent and confess, My Lord and My God. No other god has wounds.  No other god has the wounds of forgiveness, but Him alone.

 One hundred years ago this day, at2:20amin the cold waters of theNorth Atlantic, HMS Titanic, the unsinkable Titanic, without enough life boats for the full ship’s manifest of passengers, sunk.  From a recent article in National Review about this night to remember:

 The Titanic, name and thing, will stand for a monument and warning to human presumption.” That was the judgment of Edward Stuart Talbot, the Anglican bishop of Winchester, in the sermon he preached the Sunday after the fabled Atlantic passenger liner Titanic took nearly 1,500 lives with her as she sank after striking an iceberg in mid-ocean on April 14, 1912. “When has such a mighty lesson against our confidence and trust in power, machinery, and money been shot through the nation?”

It is idolatry.  Jesus Christ addressed our idolatry with His blood, His wounds.  The builders of that ship doomed it with their own idolatry:  we humans can make something eternally unsinkable.  Indeed, as it is written: Pride goes before destruction,and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16: 18  The modern and post-modern times are shot through with the pride that we have no sin…and we deceive ourselves. And saying that those aboard the churchly denominational Titanics, it is then said, we do not need forgiveness, nor our Savior.  Profoundly sad.

In that night to remember, there were many heroes, but the hero of heroes that night was Captain Rostron of the Carpathia, by his quick thinking and actions, it was the only ship to arrive after the Titanic sunk, and they saved 712 passengers: all who were saved that night to remember.  Captain Rostron saw that “all around us were dozens and dozens of icebergs, some comparatively close, others far away on the horizon, towering up like cathedral spires.” His lips moved with silent prayer.  It made him shudder, and he could “only think that some other Hand than mine was on that helm during the night.'”  A smart and experienced captain relied on the Lord in prayer.  We do too day by day, week after week, receiving His Word, the forgiveness in His wounds, the joy of confessing My Lord and my God for ourselves and for others in the dark cold waters of this fallen world.

The night to remember…and another night always to to be remembered, The night in which He was betrayed, and He took bread:  He is the Bread of life. 


Crown him the Lord of love.
Behold his hands and side,
Rich wounds, yet visible above, 
In beauty glorified.
No angels in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bend their burning eyes
At mysteries so bright.

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Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Acts 4:32-35

Psalm 148

1 John 1:1-2:2

John 20:19-31

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