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July Tidings 2024

Updated: Jul 3

From the Pastor’s Desk July 2024

“Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” –John 14:5

You’ll be receiving this newsletter in late June or early July. In this season, much of our focus will be upon the celebration of July 4th, which is just perfect. I sincerely hope and pray that you have a safe and happy Independence Day. But, if you would like a little warm up to the 4th, consider July 3rd. July 3rd is the commemoration of Thomas, an apostle that is most assuredly worthy of our consideration and celebration. Why so? Well, consider this:

1. Thomas demonstrated a fierce loyalty to Jesus. It’s a dramatic moment in the Gospel of John, Lazarus has died, and the disciples are rightfully nervous about going back to Judea. Jesus was in grave danger. Despite this justifiable concern, Thomas declares, “Let us also go that we may die with him.” What a pronouncement! It would take a truly special person to make such a claim.

2. Later in the Gospel of John, Jesus has gathered his closest associates to share the details of his impending trail, death, and resurrection. It is likely the case that this would have been a difficult message for even the best of disciples to fully comprehend. Jesus eventually said, “And you know the way to the place where I am going,” Thomas broke in, “We do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Here Thomas is particularly courageous, demonstrating his humility and willingness to learn. Thanks to his question, we are blessed with a life-giving explosion of wisdom. Jesus responds, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”

3. Next, Jesus appears to Thomas in the upper room, and after encountering the risen Christ, Thomas offers the quintessential confession of the faithful Christian, “My Lord and my God!”

It’s certainly worth noting that Thomas was also known as, “the twin.” This is kind of cool, another interesting distinguishing characteristic. But whose twin, was he? And why don’t we hear about his other twin? Hmm… well, could it be that the Gospel is inviting us to realize that we’re a great deal like Thomas? In fact, we’re like twins! Just think about it, first, we are agreeable to dying and rising with our Savior in the waters of baptism. Next, we find our way through Sunday school sessions and confirmation classes, acknowledging our need for wisdom, asking the big questions. When we affirm our baptism, we too make a bold witness and articulate a powerful confession of faith. Like Thomas, our risen Savior comes to us in surprising ways. We too have the privilege fueling the faith lives of others as we live into our unique personalities and spiritual gifts. Yes, we’re much like “Didymus,” the “Twin,” good old Thomas!

I for one am grateful that the commemoration of Saint Thomas falls on July 3rd, because based what I can tell from scripture, he was a little bit of a “firecracker.” And quite frankly, so are so many of you!

Yours in Christ, Pastor Dan

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