A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ (John 20:26)
A full week has passed since the resurrection. John tells a wonderful story of the disciples gathered together, when Jesus appears among them. Theologians and historians have asked the question, “What were they doing there?” and the church has provided an answer: they were celebrating! In our Christian tradition, the Sunday following Easter was known as Divine Mercy Sunday, and it qualified as one of the many feast days known as “solemnities.” Solemnities were celebratory meals honoring the many mysteries of Christian belief – the Holy Trinity, the virgin birth, miracles of Jesus and of the saints, and the greatest mystery of all – resurrection. I want to invite all of us to make this a day of celebration, feasting, and joy. In the midst of bizarre and worrisome days, allow the great joy of God to prevail.
God of joy and singing and dancing and feasting, hear our prayer! Turn our eyes and our minds from the stories of sorrow and anxiety and loss to the promises of your gospel and the hope of your Son. We have given much time to fear; receive now our faith. Hear our praises, hear our adoration, hear our thanksgiving, hear our joy. We pray all this in the glory of the Risen Christ. Amen.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).