April 2024

“A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.  Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”

(John 20:26-27)

Christ and St. Thomas by Andrea del Verrocchio Florence, Italy

Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead.  We can understand his doubt.  After following Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the acclamation of the crowds, he must have struggled to understand how things could have changed so quickly.  Judas, one of his fellow disciples, came with Jesus’ enemies and betrayed him.  Thomas and the other disciples fled in the Garden of Gethsemane that night.  By the next morning, Jesus was undergoing terrible torture and was nailed to a cross.  He was dead by the evening, his body laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.

It must have seemed unbelievable.  It all happened so fast and, before Thomas knew it, Jesus was dead.  Now comes the report from the women on Sunday morning that Jesus’ tomb was empty.  Then the disciples report seeing and talking with him the same night the women found the tomb empty.  Finally, Thomas sees Jesus, himself.  It is really Jesus.  He still bears the scars of his torture and his execution.  He is alive and Thomas now sees that the reports of the resurrection are true.  Jesus had been alive all week, but Thomas could not believe the reports until he experienced it.

When Thomas does see Jesus again, Jesus’ message is simple:  “Stop doubting and believe.”  However, why should Thomas believe?  When people die, they don’t rise again from the dead.  When bodies are put in the grave, they don’t leave the grave.  So, why should Thomas have trusted that Jesus had risen from the dead?  He should have believed this to be true because it was the promise Jesus had given him.

We, too, struggle to trust in the promises of Jesus when we don’t see their fulfillment right away.  As members of the military move away from home and go overseas to serve our country, it is easy for them to feel alone.  When work is hard and we are doing our best but all we seem to receive in return is criticism, it can feel like Jesus is not there, as he promised (Matthew 28:20).  There are many temptations that come along with life in the military.  We read God’s promise to give us a way out of temptation (I Corinthians 10:13), but when we see how often and how easily we fall into temptation, we wonder if Jesus is really by our side to help us.

All of us go through periods of time in our lives when we doubt Jesus’ promises, just as Thomas did.  All of us have have situations in which we wish that we could believe in God’s promises and let those promises take our worries away, but sometimes it is such a struggle to do so.  It is for this very reason that we must go back time and time again to Jesus’ Word to see what he did for us, read his promises again, and let the Holy Spirit do its work through the Gospel.  Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  The word translated “blessed” here (“makairos”) means “happy.”

When we go back time and again to read Jesus’ promise and remind ourselves that he has defeated death for us, he takes our fears and doubts away.  Like Thomas, we sometimes need that reminder to stop doubting and believe.  This text is your reminder.  Today is the day to read the Word of God.  He will work through that Word and bring you the comfort and assurance you seek.

In Christ,

Pastor Weiss


“‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

Easter Retreat Update

We met in the city of Heidelberg, Germany, for our annual Easter Retreat from Thursday, March 28, through Sunday, March 31.  We celebrated Easter with a total of 53 people in attendance, which was a joy for all.  We are grateful for all of the volunteers who helped make this retreat happen and for all of the musicians who shared their talent with us to enhance the beauty of our worship as we praised our risen and living Savior.

We look forward to gathering together again in Nürnberg this fall.

In Christ,

Pastor Weiss

Fall Retreat 2024

We will hold our Fall Retreat on November 1-3 in Nürnberg.  Our place of lodging is the Jugendherberge Nürnberg, located in the old city city-center immediately adjacent to the Kaiserburg.  Further information on this will be distributed as the Fall Retreat approaches

Worship Time Change at Ramstein Air Base

Beginning on Palm Sunday, March 24, our worship time at the North Chapel at Ramstein changed from 1600 to 1500.  The reason for this change is the renovation work beginning at Vogelweh Chapel that requires a shifting of worship times for the other chapels on base.

Worship Schedule for April

  • April 7:  No Worship at Stuttgart on account of field visit
  • April 14: Wicker (0800) Ramstein (1500)
  • April 18, 2024:  Munich (1830)
  • April 20, 2024:  Vilseck/Rose Barracks (1100)
  • April 21, 2024:  Zurich (1100)
  • April 28, 2024: Wicker (1100) Ramstein (1500)

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