Second Sunday of Easter
April 24, 2022
(A Story at Home Rerun from 2018)
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.order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
Something to Do
Unless I see…
Instead of calling Thomas Doubting Thomas, we should call him Scientist Thomas. Insisting on evidence—information that you can check by touching it or looking at it or hearing it or smelling it—is an important part of scientific discovery. Do an experiment this week and practice using your senses to gain information about the world. This website has some suggestions.
… I will not believe.
God for a walk and imagine the stones and trees and waterways shouting their praises to God. Imagine If we are going to keep calling Thomas Doubting Thomas, we should remember that doubts are not necessarily bad. Doubts simply mean we don’t know something for sure—and, if we’re honest, there are lots of things we don’t know for sure.
Set a timer for three minutes and see how many doubts you can write down in that time. If you are doing this with other people, award a prize to the person with the longest list.
Something to Wonder
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe”
The Greek word we translate as “believe” also means “trust.” Remembering that can help us remember that believing isn’t about knowing for sure, it’s about trusting even though we don’t know for sure.
What do you trust? Who do you trust? What makes something or someone trustworthy?
Do you find it easy or difficult to trust God? Why?
“… through believing you might have life in his name”
The language of kingship can be difficult for us to work with but remember that, for much of history and The Easter season reminds us that we don’t just tell the story of Jesus’ resurrection – we actually get to share in Jesus’ resurrection. Our life is made new in Jesus’ risen life. Jesus revealed himself to Thomas so that he might join in this new life and Jesus reveals himself to us, too.
Where is resurrection happening in your life? Where is there new growth? New changes? New opportunities?
What new things might be possible if you allowed yourself to trust in the power of the resurrection?
Something to Learn
When Jesus first appeared to the other disciples, one of the things he said to them was “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Thomas clearly got this message too and, according to tradition, is responsible for the introduction of Christianity to India. The historian William Dalrymple explores this tradition’s roots and its contemporary expression in this article for The Guardian: The Incredible Journey.
Faith, Doubt, and Religion
Doubting Thomas Redeemed
by Joseph Brean (published in the National Post, April 13, 2017)
“Skepticism has repeatedly shown its value as an intellectual tool, even for believers. Rather than an obstacle, doubt has been recast as, if not exactly a virtue, at least a stepping stone to faith. The stigma of doubt is weakening and as it does, Thomas is slowly redeemed.”
A spectrum of spirituality: Canadians keep the faith to varying degrees, but few reject it entirely
Angus Reid Institute and Faith in Canada 150 study the “anatomy of faith in Canada”
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.