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One Week Later

Just a few weeks ago, I asked a young waitress in Nairobi, Kenya if she attends a church. Her response, was shockingly honest, as she told me that she had put Jesus and the church on the shelf, at least for now.

David Kinnaman, in his book “You Lost Me,” suggests that “The dropout phenomenon is most accurately described as a generation of Christians who are disengaging from institutional forms of church.”

Before we are too quick to pass judgment on the generation of 18-29-year-olds, know as Mosaics or Millennials, take a look at the twentieth chapter of John’s Gospel which describes Christ’s post-resurrection appearances.

On the first Easter Sunday, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb, and then to His disciples. However, one disciple was missing – he is known as “doubting Thomas”. The disciples said to Thomas “We have seen the Lord!” to which Thomas responded: “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 it.”

Thomas represents not only the Mosaics but all of us. Who of us has ever seen Jesus or put our finger in the nail holes in His hands, or thrust our hand into His side? And yet we are encouraged to believe that He exists and that He suffered those wounds for the forgiveness of our sins.

One week later, Thomas had a personal encounter with Jesus, and now 104,847 weeks later, we are invited to do the same. How do we believe in something or someone we cannot see?

1) We see Jesus through our relationships

The potential of generational alienation is diminished when we show the world that a relationship can be cultivated between the enthusiasm and vitality of the young and the wisdom and experience of the mature!

Our generational relationships are an opportunity to show the world that Christ’s death and resurrection turns an alienated relationship into an intimate relationship with God.

2) We see Jesus in how we treat one another

The temptation is to alienate ourselves from a generation that is questioning the institutional church, the literal truth of the Bible, and even the reality of Jesus in their everyday life

And yet, Jesus showed mercy to “doubting Thomas” whose belief in the resurrected Christ depended on his ability to put his hand in Jesus side. We must be willing to allow those who have doubts to ask questions.

3) We see Jesus through the love of His Heavenly Father

Sexual promiscuity, divorce, and abandonment are some of the root causes that have contributed to the absence of father’s in society.

Jesus understands absence, alienation, and abandonment. While He hung on the Cross, God momentarily forsook Jesus and disrupted the fellowship of the Trinity, so that Jesus could take our sin upon Himself. But Jesus resurrection from the dead restored His relationship with His Heavenly Father.

You may be experiencing the absence of an earthly father, but belief in the resurrection of Jesus provides a relationship with the Heavenly Father!!!

It is no wonder Jesus said to Thomas: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

One week after Easter Sunday 2017, I invite you to join the millions upon millions of people around the world who have not seen Jesus and yet believe in the His resurrection power!

Until next time…

Don

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