Edwin M. Temple
Brooke L. Wright
Church Office Hours
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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.”26 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.” 27 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.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 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.” John 20:24-29
This is the gospel lection for last Sunday. It tells the story of two of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. Specifically, it tells us about Thomas and his Resurrected Lord. The first time Jesus visited His disciples Thomas was absent. Try as they might, they could not convince him, once he returned, that Jesus had actually appeared among them.
The following week, Thomas was where he belonged, among the disciples, when Jesus appeared again. This time everything was different. Thomas required no convincing because he was present and a witness to the resurrection. What a difference a week makes! I’ve often said that the only thing wrong with Thomas was that he missed church on Easter! And I think that’s exactly right.
One of the lessons we learn from this passage is that whenever and wherever the disciples of Jesus gather, we ought to be present. Failure to do this means we might miss a life-changing opportunity to meet our Risen Lord! One of the great Holy Communion hymns begins with these words, “I come with joy to meet my Lord, forgiven, loved and free, in awe and wonder to recall his life laid down for me, his life laid down for me.” (I Come With Joy, UMH 617)
Easter Sunday is over, but we still meet our Lord in worship. Didn’t Jesus say, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”? Thomas learned his lesson. Let’s learn ours and participate fully in the life of the church, especially worship. I will look forward to greeting you this Sunday as we celebrate the presence of the Risen Christ in our midst!
I’ll see you in church Sunday! ~ Ed