Date:           Sunday April 15
Readings:    ACTS 4:32-35 1John 5:1-6   John 20:19-31
Most talks we've heard focus on the Thomas of little faith. Let us, instead, bring our attention to the first four (4) verses of the text.

All of the synoptic Gospels characterize the institution of the Church as a result of the recognition of Peter of Jesus' Messianic nature. As Jesus was revealed as "The Christ", the Son of the Living God, to Peter, He began His Church on the solid foundation of "The Rock" as its first head.

Here, in John, the institution of the Church is given to all those assembled in the room. All were empowered, by the Holy Spirit, to forgive sin or not.

With Thomas absent (and, perhaps others), is it possible others were of the same mind as Thomas. Maybe they were all skeptical! The point is, we all may be shaken by some obstacle to our faith. Even those who find it impossible to believe have faith in their belief. We must be able to show the wounds of Christ vividly enough, by our actions and love, to increase their faith to the point they'll be compelled to accept Christ.

What attracted people to the faith, in earliest times, was the commonality of the disciples. As the Book of ACTS reports, no one held anything as his own. Rather all possessions were considered everyone's.

If you think their expression of brotherhood didn't take enormous faith, try putting all your possessions at the disposal of all!

The writer of 1 John expresses faith in a little different fashion. It is a family, The Father loves us because He has begotten us. How do we explain any father's love for his children? Only the mother gets bent out of shape!

Only she gets the cravings for weird foods at weird times! She needs a new wardrobe! The father only has to change his socks.

Yet, however remote his contribution to the act of creation, he often reveals God's love upon His children as well as the mother who carried the child.

We obey our fathers. Sometimes because we trust them; at others because we fear them; still others because we have seen the result of their actions. As we've seen in the current news stories, fathers will go to any length for their children. Our Father loves us that much, always!

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