John 20:19–31 Jesus Appears to the Disciples NRSV
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’
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.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ 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.’
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
So today, as we hear the good news of Jesus’ life and resurrection from death,
we are invited to trust God with our lives. Throughout our Lent Easter season we have been looking at events from the perspective of the disciples. Today is no different. The disciples would have been experiencing; Fear, confusion, disbelief & tinges of joy. Who can blame them?
Death and life can be scary, with the elements of the unknown or unknowable leaving us to wonder what to believe, whom to trust.
Now is no different, we or people we know have lost their jobs, had hours reduced, pay cut. Or for many of us we are asked to stay at home
or work from home. Keeping contact with others to a minimum. YET at the same time the horrors we were told to expect has not happened.
Is this real? Everything still seems normal. BUT then we see reports, images, video from places other than Australia & New Zealand
And they are living the horror. What we see is not necessarily what we experience. Does that mean we discount or trust?
We find ourselves in a similar position to that of the disciples in the locked room. With issues of Death and life in our face, elements of the unknown or unknowable leaving us to wonder what to believe, whom to trust. We may even find ourselves in our own locked room.
Be mindful of whom or what you are locking out. Keep the locking out to the physical to keep each other safe. Make the effort & find creative ways to keep in contact with one another. We continue to be the church, be it at a physical distance from each other. Our church life continues even though it is different. When worshiping using our online resources or printed material, do so knowing others of our community are doing so too. When you pray and keep in contact. Do so knowing others are doing so too.
We may be in locked rooms but we know that is no barrier for Jesus, as he enters locked rooms.
give us wisdom to perceive you,
intellect to understand you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate upon you
and life to proclaim you,
through the power of the Spirit
of our loving Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Mark of the Nails. Prayerful Colouring. Mark Hewitt