Sunday Reflection

                 Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is risen     
               indeed, Alleluia!

Acts 2:14a, 22-32 – This is part of Peter’s first sermon, given at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit had just come down from heaven and the crowd was in an uproar, yelling that those who had been overcome by the Holy Spirit were actually overcome by drunkenness! In the first part of the sermon, he quotes extensively from Joel, and in this part, he quotes from today’s psalm. Peter knows the word of God well, and he is able to reach for Scripture to preach his first sermon under conditions he never could have imagined. What passages of Scripture would you like to know better, so that you can lean on them in these situations?

John 20:19-31 – The first part of this story connects to the Pentecost story in today’s first lesson – the disciples experience the Holy Spirit. One commentary on this passage says, “Just as God once breathed his spirit into man in the creation story (Gen 2:7), so Jesus now does so with the words: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ At this point Easter and Pentecost fall together” (Hermeneia, p. 211). This chapter is full of the disciples’ desire to see evidence in order to believe the Resurrection. It’s also a chapter full of disbelief and mistrust. Thomas doesn’t believe his friends for a whole week that Jesus is alive! But Jesus is able to enter through any closed doors – the literal closed doors of the house, and the figurative closed doors of Thomas’ disbelief. Thomas doesn’t believe because of Jesus’ personality or face or presence, but because of Jesus’ scars. Thomas doesn’t just need to know that the joy of Jesus’ return is real, but that his grief over Jesus’ death was real, too. What do you wish you could ask Jesus if he came through the door of your house?

This Bible study was written by Katie Kirk, a seminarian at Berkeley Divinity 

School at Yale University, Bible Study that Works, T.E.C.

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