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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, April 11, 2021

April 6, 2021
  • Acts 4:32-35
  • 1 John 1:1-2:2
  • John 20:19-31
  • Psalm 133

A theme of sharing and being open and vulnerable runs through our readings this week. The first Christians share what material possessions they have with one another. The author of the epistle calls us to confess our sins to God. Thomas shares his doubts about the Resurrection with his fellow apostles and even the Risen Christ knows of his uncertainty.

Our faithful doubts may range from the intellectual “How could the resurrection have happened?” to the doubts we feel in the midst of suffering when we come to God asking how he could allow tragedy to happen to us or our loved ones. Or, doubt in its most simple form may be expressed in the question “God, are you there?”

The Gospel shows us a God who does not rebuke us in our doubts. While Jesus does praise those who believe without proof (perhaps addressing those of us living long after the events of the Gospel), he still allows Thomas to see the physical signs of death and resurrection that Thomas demanded. Jesus does not cast him out. Doubt does not necessarily cripple us or our faith. Tradition holds that Thomas went on to spread the Good News as far away as India despite whatever doubts ate at him.

Being vulnerable and admitting our doubts, vulnerabilities, and flaws to God is a challenge. Sharing them with the people around us can feel even more challenging. We often avoid out of a fear that we are burdening others with our problems. However, in a society that seems to constantly expect us to be successful and always be moving on to the next achievement or life stage, sharing our vulnerabilities with one another can actually help us all unload our burdens in a metaphorical reenactment of those early Christians.

I have found that it often only takes one person in a room willing to admit that they DON’T live whatever idealized life we try to project to open the floodgates for others to admit the same and for us all to stop pretending and feel some blessed relief. Even Jesus shared his doubts with the Father that night long ago in the garden at Gethsemane.


  • Where do you see yourself in the story of Thomas? Are you Thomas? His fellow apostles? Or are you the one who calmly reassures everyone like Jesus?
  • We confess our sins each week at church as part of our liturgy. How has this repeated confession affected you and your thinking?

Author: Ryan Newberry


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