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April 2015

Not Seeing but Believing

Second Sunday of Easter

From “Scolding the Snakes”

Scripture Reference: John 20:19-31 

Preparation: Bring a paper fan (one you’ve purchased or made yourself) and a small whistle.

How many of you have heard the expression, “I’d have to see it to believe it”? Maybe some of you have used that expression yourselves. Let’s say your brother is learning how to skateboard, and one day he comes running in to tell you that he can do an amazing trick on the skateboard. You might say, “I’d have to see that to believe it!” And until you actually see him perform the trick on the skateboard, you won’t believe he can actually do it.

Do we always have to be able to see things in order to believe they exist? What are some things that we can’t see but still know are there? (Let kids share their thoughts.) We can’t see the air all around us, but when the wind is blowing, we can feel the air, or we can see the things it moves. (Use fan to illustrate air movement—maybe letting it move a scrap of paper.) We can’t see sound waves, but when we hear a loud noise (use whistle to illustrate sound), we know that sound is real. We can’t see the love that our parents and friends have for us, but we feel their hugs and hear their loving words, and we know that their love is real.

Can we see Jesus—the real Jesus, not just pictures of him? (Let kids respond.) How do we know he’s real? (Children may share their thoughts.) We believe what the Bible says. We feel Jesus’ love in our hearts. And we can see the way people change—the way they become kinder and happier—when they believe in Jesus and let him into their lives. We can’t say that we have seen Jesus with our own eyes. Still, we believe in him.

Today’s Gospel lesson from the book of John tells the story of a disciple named Thomas, who did not believe Jesus came back to life. Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his other disciples, but Thomas wasn’t with them; he didn’t see Jesus. Thomas would not believe that Jesus was alive unless he could see Jesus and touch him.

Then, some days after Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples were together again—and this time Thomas was with them. Suddenly Jesus appeared, and he told Thomas to touch the nail wounds in his hands and feel the spear wound in his side. Jesus wanted Thomas to stop doubting. Finally Thomas believed. Jesus said, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway” (John 20:29 NLT).

You are blessed. All of us are blessed. We have not seen or touched Jesus, but still we believe that Jesus is alive.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank you for being alive and for being here with us. And thank you for helping us to believe that you will always be with us. Amen

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