But the crux of the story is contained in Jesus' response. "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen but have come to believe." Now, I used to fear that this was Jesus telling us all not to ask questions, not to look for evidence, but to believe blindly, so to speak, without seeing, without understanding. But listen again to what Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen but have come to believe." What I now hear in those words is Jesus telling Thomas, "Though you didn't see, that doesn't mean that you can't believe. If only you had a little more patience with the questions, Thomas, you would have been able to come to believe even without seeing."
A few weeks ago, the Wednesday morning Bible study members were talking about welcoming and said, "It's great to talk about it, but how do we do it?" How can we welcome the poor, the immigrant, the homeless, the mentally ill, and the disabled into our lives when we're not sure how to welcome visitors into our worship? Where do we begin?
Well, I have some good news. It looks like we made it. This church has survived six years of the most severe economic crisis since the 1930's, without losing a pastor, without sacrificing programs, and without selling properties. We've done far better than a lot of nonprofits. And while we're not out of the woods, we're not in exile, either. So I don't have to tell you to build houses and plant gardens in Babylon. Let's rebuild a life here in Willow Glen. And listen while I preach to you a future with hope.
But that raises some questions for the rest of us: have we remembered Jesus in our wills? Have we thought about how we can leave a legacy of love that will give life to others in Jesus' name? Have we considered how we can share our faith with our family not only in our life but also in our death? A word of advice: don't count on your kids to remember Jesus with your money. If you want them to do this in remembrance of Jesus, write it down.