John 20: 25
25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’
But he said to them,
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.’
Yesterday we pondered how Thomas must have felt as the only missing apostle when Jesus visited the others huddled behind locked doors, in fear. Thomas was absent for an unknown reason. The others told him they had seen the risen Jesus. Jesus is alive! Thomas refuses to believe, “unless…” But in fact, none of the apostles had believed that the tomb was empty nor that Jesus was living when the women reported that first Easter morning. There seems to be a plague of doubt but then many of us still doubt today. Many are willing to be healed, willing to go to heaven, willing to call Jesus a great prophet, willing to share a portion of their profits with the church, but often there is still an “unless…” in our commitment to our faith. We are not that different from Thomas.
Often Jesus’ words of wisdom are so counter intuitive. Forgive our enemies. Surely Jesus does not understand the insult or humiliation we experienced at the other’s hands … or mouth. Stop gossip and sharing info about another. Sharing so easily slips into gossip because we convince ourselves our motives are pure. Slander is what the news does or how the other side spreads misinformation, not what I say. A subtle “unless” slips into our thinking and like Thomas a wall goes up between us and God.
Thomas has become known as “doubting Thomas” because he wanted to be able to touch and feel the risen Christ. He is open and honest about the questions swirling in his soul. As we spend a few minutes today quietly pondering our faith and how the Easter story impacts our lives, may we be still and let the Holy Spirit reveal to us if there is some way we too are saying “unless” in our faith journey. Jesus spoke into those honest doubts. Pretty special. Blessings as you pray.