Updated: Aug 22, 2020
Rev. Dr. thom bower, Ed.D
What did the disciples do after Easter? I looked at the scriptures again – and discovered they isolated themselves.
In the Gospel of Matthew, the women encounter Christ at the tomb then run to tell the disciples, but before the disciples can run back to the tomb, Jesus intercepts them; it’s implied they remain in the room. In the Gospel of John the disciples are behind closed doors because they are afraid. Thomas is absent, and does not believe the report when he returns. Eight days later, they are still in that room when Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds. Remarkable revelations while isolated!
These scriptural isolations are neither a quarantine nor short-lived. In Matthew, they move from Jerusalem to Galilee. In John, there’s nothing to indicate that the disciples were limited to the upper room in those eight days; and after Jesus appears, they head to the Sea of Tiberius. In the Book of Acts, while the Holy Spirit fills their house, the disciples then go into the streets to testify.
We’ve prayed for the church to be transformed. At the essence of our work as educators and faith formation leaders is the hope, the promise of transformation. This has been at high cost, the rapidity for adjustment has been tiring (perhaps a more precise prayer was in order? “Please God, may transformation be slow and predictable so we may adjust gently.”) And we’re still learning to use tools effectively for virtual faith development activities. We’re also helping communities of faith to better understand themselves, how to preserve long-held values in new expressions.
On behalf of the AUCE Board of Directors, thank you for your diligence. Your efforts are more effective than you now realize. As the church, as faith formation leaders, we’re learning more than we realize.
Also on behalf of the AUCE Board, please feel free to contact us.
For practical suggestions.
To explore possibilities.
To muse about circumstances.
For our mutual support.
For the ministries we share.
You are in our prayers.