FIRST CHURCH IN JAFFREY
Amen, Amen, and Amen! A Conversation
Sam Greene, Moderator:
The April 24 service, based on the New Testament story of “Doubting Thomas” spoke to me. And I wanted to take an opportunity to explain why. I’d guess that there are others who are slowly coming out of the woodwork on any given Sunday to hear our new pastor preach. A full week out from that service I’m still excited about that sermon. And that joy was probably also fueled by Carol Hamilton’s organ work during “Lord, I Don’t Feel Noways Tired”.
To return to Steve’s message about Doubting Thomas. Immediately, I thought he was going to point a finger straight at ME. During the Search Committees interviews with Steve and our other prospects, I often explained that I was a doubter, skeptic, still a little bit of a cynic about this religious “soup”. But Steve pointed back at himself and proclaimed Doubting Thomas to be one of his heroes, as this apostle was the questioner, the seeker, the unconvinced.
Steve’s message that doubt is not the opposite of faith but the “engine” that drives our faith spoke to me very clearly. Steve told a story about his friend, Paul, who as a teenager had asked and asked and asked questions of his pastor, until one day the response that came was “There are some questions we just don’t ask”. How tragic an answer! Why could the response have not been “There are some answers we just don’t know”?
Steve Miller, pastor:
Faith really is a conversation, and a good conversation requires good questions. This is why it has always been so very important to me that we are Congregationalist.
We believe that God is most richly revealed in the congregation as we explore the deeper meanings of our lives together! I can’t wait to hear Sam’s questions – I’ve got plenty I would like to share as well.
John 20:24- 31
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin[a]), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”