Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!  I will never tire of this greeting in this the church’s most Holy Season. Easter has twin enemies: doubt and fear.  As we heard on Sunday, if you tuned into our livestreaming, Thomas missed the Easter appearance of Jesus.  He hears from the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead and appeared to them.  But he declares, “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 doubts…and where there is doubt there can be no Easter joy. 

Doubt can destroy Easter for us.  Satan raised doubts already in the Garden of Eden.  Our modern age questions God, the Bible, the physical resurrection of Jesus and when life itself begins among a whole host of other things.  The twin enemies of Easter show their common birth.  Fear traces to the root sin of unbelief and so does doubt.  “Unless … I will not believe it.”  We want concrete proof or we will not believe.

The good news for Thomas and us is that Jesus conquers doubt as easily as fear.  A week later he appeared again in the upper room and he says to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side. “Stop doubting” … or as I said on Sunday, “Be not unbelieving but believing.” At this very moment Thomas joyfully confesses, “My Lord and my God!”

To us Jesus says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  Jesus comes to us in our doubt with his peace.  He shows us His hands and side as we read His Word.  He gives us His Real Presence in, with and under the bread and wine of His Supper.  He forgives all of our fear and all of our times of unbelieving. He bestows faith in His death and resurrection as a free gift.  With Thomas we too confess, “My Lord and My God!”  Will you think on these things?  Amen. 

Blessings,
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes

Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic, I will be sharing some daily devotional thoughts.  Hopefully, this will be daily (M-F), but there may be some days when I am unable to provide a written devotion due to other pressing ministry needs. Please know you can always tune into 850 AM for KFUO programs and worship services.  You can go to www.LHM.org for devotions and the Lutheran Hour program.  You can go to www.IssuesEtc.org for LCMS programs and blog posts.  You can even access www.CPH.org for their numerous resources. Just please do whatever you can to stay in the Word.  I would remind you to like our Facebook page.  By doing this you will see current posts and be reminded of upcoming sermons and services.  Finally make sure you stop by our website www.pacifichillslutheran.org where you will find a wealth of information including past sermons. 

 

Pastor Drebes is Pastor at Pacific Hills Lutheran Church Rev. Bryan Drebes is Pastor at Pacific Hills Lutheran Church in Omaha Nebraska

Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997.  He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.  He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001.  He served Bethany for 14 years.  Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine