Back in 2004, our family including my in-laws visited Prince Edward Island in Canada. Part of this visit we stayed at a Victorian era hotel on the northern shore of the island called the Dalvay By The Sea. The hotel took its Victorian heritage seriously with large public rooms, dining rooms, a large porch and rooms without radios or television. The girls spent three days on the beach, riding bike, playing board games and reading (Anne of Green Gables was a favorite). The days at the Dalvay are a particularly fond memory of the girls’ childhood.
This past summer, we tried to recreate this experience slightly closer to home. The girls and their husbands joined Carolyn and I at The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle over the Labor Day weekend. It was the first time we were all together since Christmas and also the first time since our younger daughter’s Zoom wedding in July. We took all of our meals at the Inn, just like the Dalvay. We went hiking, kayaking and even played a board game one afternoon on the porch. There was Wi-Fi available and television in the rooms, but we all made some effort to limit their use. The consensus of the twenty somethings in our midst was that we met our goal that weekend and it certainly was a bright spot in my year.
My favorite passage of scripture is found in the 20th Chapter of the Gospel of John, Verses 24-29. This passage is the proverbial “Doubting Thomas” passage that we hear every year on the Second Sunday of Easter. My particular favorite is Verse 29, Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Two things in Jesus’ response to Thomas have always intrigued me. The first is it is not obvious that Thomas actually touched Jesus, “because you have seen me…” The second is that this always seemed to me to be an extra special blessing/beatitude for those of us who believe but haven’t seen at the end of John’s Gospel. The legend that Thomas journeyed East afterwards and founded a church in southern India just adds to the mystery of this disciple.
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.