Dear Gulf Coast Leaders,Mike Rinehart

May 1, 2011 – 2nd Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:14a, 22-32
Psalm 16
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

Visible Sign of an Invisible Hand

Here’s last year’s post on Quasi Modo Sunday/Doubting Thomas:

Thomas’ story is our story. One day in our lives an event takes place. I promise. This happens to all who are open to the Spirit. Something amazing happens, and we suddenly, unexpectedly feel the presence of Christ. Like Thomas, we encounter Jesus in the midst of unimaginable grief. A word of Scripture. The touch of a friend. A word from a stranger. A miraculous series of events.

It is an event of unexpected grace. And the child within us emerges from those deep dark recesses, and we stare him – we stare her – straight in the face, surprised. It is a resurrection of sorts. The ancient Christian mystics used to call it a "breakthrough." You cannot return to the naivete of your youth, but the bitterness of the present has also subsided. You are now at a new place, one where you believed you could never go.

In this new place, doubt and faith coexist. They are two sides of one coin. Doubt is evidence that faith is living.

Not optimism. Not pessimism. But realism, with an inexplicable hope. This is what Jesus brings to us. The cross, but also the resurrection.

Visible evidence of an invisible hand.

Gentle reminders that dreams are not just for children, and hope is not just for fools.

Doubt is real. It’s a sign that our faith has moved beyond proposition and we are really trying to get to the bottom of things. It’s not a deal-breaker. In fact, in Matthew 28 it says the disciples doubted. Jesus went ahead and sent them anyway.

And so, when you doubt, like Thomas, watch out. It is a sure-fire sign that Jesus is about to appear. And hope is going to break through the clouds of your storm-tossed life, unexpectedly, with new life.

Be at peace with God and with one another,

Michael Rinehart, Bishop



doubting thomas

Health Assessment due April 30

Prayer List

Lectionary Readings


April 14-30 – Synod delegation to the Evangelial Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic

Thursday, April 28 – Pete Steinke to speak at Metro Houston Ministerium (MHM). 11:45-1:15 at Christ the King, Houston. (MHM includes the four Houston ministriums: Central, North, West and Southeast).

May 7 –Lutherans Restoring Creation at Covenant Houston, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

May 20-22 – Synod Assembly

June 24-July 3 — Peru Trip to congregation in Huacho, and Rainforest

June 26-30 – Disciple Project at Texas Lutheran University

July 21-30 – Intergenerational Peru Trip. Register NOW

August 14-20 – Churchwide Assembly

Leadership Gatherings

(Saturday only this year):
August 6 – Houston
August 13 – Brenham
August 27 – New Orleans

October 10-19 – Israel Trip

(Led by Pastor Steve Quill)

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