This is the sermon for Remembrance Sunday 2019 (10 November 2019). Rev. Geoff McKee’s scripture is the story from John’s Gospel of how the disciple, Thomas, would only believe in Jesus’s resurrection by meeting Jesus face-to-face.
You can download a PDF of the sermon, if you wish, by clicking HERE.
John 20:24-31 (New International Version)
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
One of the great challenges which a newly ordained minister has to come to terms with, and continually live with, is coping with funerals.
They are a necessary part of the vocation.
Their occurrence is unpredictable and so they can’t be planned for.
- Who knows how many funerals will come, in any one particular week?
- Will the minister be burying a stranger, a parishioner, an acquaintance or a good friend?
There is much work that needs to be done in visiting and preparation as well as managing the pressures of the service itself and any required follow-up.
How foolish the minister who does not pause to reflect on the impact of this work because it has the potential to bring emotional and spiritual challenges that can enrich a ministry or destroy it.
I have visited the cemetery in Lossiemouth about two hundred times in the past five years.
I have watched it steadily expand and I often reflect that as more and more land is claimed for sacred use so more lives are impacted by the blow of loss and the journey of mourning. [Read more…]