2017-04-27 / Church

The Rosy Side

by Pastor Trey Comstock Blue and Lexington United Methodist Church

In John 20:19-31, we get the story of two times that Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection. In the first, Jesus appears and shares his spirit with most of the disciples. One was conspicuously absent – Thomas. The other disciples try to explain to Thomas what has happened, but he needs more proof. Thus, when Jesus appears a second time, Thomas has to make extra sure that it really is Jesus.

I’ve always felt that Thomas gets a bad rap. Admittedly, I’m slightly biased as my actual name is Thomas, and my son is named Thomas. Even beyond that, his main crime to me seems to be missing the meeting. It’s not like the other disciples were somehow superior to him in belief. They had already seen, so it was easy for them. Thomas had not, so he faced a much greater challenge of faith. It’s true that he needs a, perhaps unreasonable amount of proof, but to me, his initial doubts seem reasonable.

You probably know what it feels like to have had fellow church members who had a deep spiritual experience that you did not. Maybe, you missed that sermon, couldn’t go on that retreat, or just didn’t have enough vacation time for that mission trip. Others come back having seen Christ and been filled with the Spirit, and you are left without that formative experience. That is how Thomas felt.

It was certainly how I felt as a teenager. At every retreat and mission trip, I would pray and pray, but I never knew if I had really accepted Christ. It wasn’t until I was a college student that I saw the transformation God had wrought in my life, that I really had the proof that I needed. It is befitting that I’m named Thomas.

The journey of faith is not a sprint, and we all move at our own pace. Those who have moved ahead should have patience with those who need a little more proof. For those still searching for that proof, I pray that one day, you can find it. God is out there doing amazing things all over the place. Keep looking.

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