What a fantastic Easter weekend we shared at Amberlea! From the special Maundy Thursday Messy Church; to the powerful Good Friday service and then the amazing Celebration on Sunday morning when we danced out to "When the Saints". It was exhilarating! And to be honest I want to linger here just a bit longer. Even though the chocolate Easter eggs have been consumed, the meaning of Easter remains - that God so loved the world, He gave us His son.
It becomes very personal, if we let it.
Like it did for Thomas.
Do you remember the story in the bible about Thomas? Poor Thomas wasn’t there when Jesus appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection, so when he returned the other disciples told him excitedly, “We have seen the Lord!” (I bet Thomas wished he hadn't missed church that day!)
Thomas said to them: “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then stretch out your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting, and believe!”
Thomas fell on his knees and exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20: 24-28)
It was personal for Thomas!
Then Jesus said to Thomas (and to us), “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed!” (John 20:29)
Thomas was a faithful man but he had doubts. How many of us could say the same about ourselves?
Coming from the Sikh religion, I studied, investigated, questioned, and questioned again whether this Jesus was real. However, even after satisfying the intellect it came down to a matter of faith. The evidence certainly indicates that Jesus lived and died and rose again. But for me to believe I had to have faith. Unlike Thomas, I have not had the opportunity to touch Jesus’ scarred hands – and yet the presence of Jesus in my life is real. By faith, I believe.
"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed!” (John 20:29)
God exists in all things and, with faith, our eyes are opened to see God at work.
It kind of reminds me of a story about an elderly lady who was well known for her faith and for her boldness in talking about it. She would stand on her front porch and shout, “Praise the LORD!!
Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout, “There ain’t no Lord!”
Hard times set in on the elderly lady, and she prayed for God to send her some assistance. She stood on her porch and shouted, “Praise the Lord! God, I need some food! I am having a hard time. Please Lord, send me some groceries!”
The next morning the lady went out on her porch, noticed a large bag of groceries sitting there and shouted, “Praise The Lord”.
The neighbour jumped out from behind a bush and said, “Aha! I told you there was no Lord. God didn’t buy those groceries – I did!”
The lady started jumping up and down and clapping her hands and said, “Praise the Lord! He not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them. Praise the Lord!”
LOL....Now that’s faith!