7 April 2024
Bible readings for today
God of calm, you bring peace in the midst of distress; still our troubled hearts
when we struggle to believe, give us the courage to doubt, give us peace in believing. Through Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you now and forever,
and in the strength of the Holy Spirit.
Seeing is believing (John 20:19-31)
This story looks at Jesus appearing to his disciples, and how Thomas doubted that he was really the resurrected Jesus.
Jesus appears to his confused, scared, doubting disciples - 2000 years ago and still today! Joel Stutter joins Michael Godfrey and the Dunedin Diocese 'Gospel Conversations' team for the first time, with James Harding and Trish Franklin, as we move deeper into the joyful season of Easter.
In an earlier Gospel Conversations, Michael talks with Katie Marcar (Otago University Programme and All Saints’, North Dunedin), Tony Martin (St Paul’s Cathedral and Emergency Management Otago) and Richard Johnson (Dean for Rural Ministry and Interim Priest, Winton) on this passage from John 20: 19-31.
In small groups discuss
Write a script for a 'Resurrection Interview', where a journalist can interview Thomas. Thomas can describe the impact the resurrection had on the disciples and then on himself. You can do this sketch live, or prerecord it using a camera or phone. It is a great way to get young people involved in your all age services.
Questions can include:
For a script of something similar, see the All-Age Lectionary Services: Year C from Scripture Union
Peace be with you!
You can read today’s story in John 20:19–23, and the Jesus Storybook Bible p. 318-321
A daily devotion reflection on 'Doubting Thomas' from Scripture Union USA
Young children can have difficulty distinguishing between fact and fantasy, so do not worry too much about explaining things that are not real to them in today's session.
Brainstorm a list of things that we know are real, including things we can touch, taste or see, e.g.
A beautiful image from the Visio Lectio project, created by the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. © Sarah West. All Rights reserved, shared with permission.
One of the key messages in today's passage is in John 20:29b - Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed
We may never see Jesus face to face on earth, like his disciples, but we are reassured that we will be blessed by believing in what we have not seen.
What you need
Doubting Thomas game
A game with paddles and true/false questions, from the Easy Breezy Sunday School website. See the website for instructions on how to make the paddles. Each child gets an "I Doubt It" sign, which they use to respond to a list of unusual facts about the bible/life etc. If they doubt the fact, they show the 'I doubt it' side, but if they believe the statement, they do nothing. Give the correct answer and award a point
Possible statements could include: