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Our next services are planned for Sunday 18th April, and May 2nd at 10.30am.
Rev David Lavender will lead both services. Advance booking is essential
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Reflection by Revd Fiona Brown
April 11th 2021
Even though they have been told about Jesus’ resurrection and some of them have seen him, the disciples are still very frightened and are behind locked doors.
Read St John’s Gospel chapter 20. Verses 19 – 31
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And 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 withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, 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 in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, 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 believed.”
Have you ever been with a group of people who have all been to some event or other and are very excited about it, but you weren’t there, even though you have loved to have been? They keep going on about it until you really want them to shut up. Every word makes you feel even more left out and their excitement is getting you down. That’s Thomas’ situation.
In his case what had happened seemed like wishful thinking. It can’t be true. It isn’t true and he refuses to believe just on their say so. He has to see for himself. A 12 year old said to me one year that he believed in the resurrection because his parents had brought him up to believe and he trusted them. But very thoughtfully he added “That’s not the same as believing it for myself, though.” Thomas would understand that. He has to do this for himself. Second hand isn’t enough.
And the following week he gets his chance. Jesus stands among them again and this time he is there and all his misery and unbelief disappears. He says “My Lord and my God”.
Thomas is remembered as the doubter, but he’s also the one who persuaded all the others to go with Jesus to Jerusalem and he’s also the one who was prepared to admit he didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about and to ask the question that the others didn’t dare ask. Thomas is one of my heroes!
Thank you, Lord, for Thomas – not there, not sure, left out when the others saw the risen Lord. Risen Lord, be with us we pray when we fail to see you;
When we want to believe but can only see legend and myth, and are tempted to put you away with other childish things;
When we long to be loved and accepted but feel forever outsiders, excluded from your embrace;
When we envy those who take for granted your close presence in their lives while we feel nothing;
When in bereavement we crave the certainty of eternal life but are afraid it is simply wishful thinking.
Risen Lord, you came to Thomas in his doubts, offering him your cross-torn body, come to us, we pray. Reveal yourself afresh, that we too may say with Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”
Amen © Christian Aid
Read STF 303 I know that my Redeemer lives
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