Mothers’ Union Devotion – The Feast of St Thomas – Sunday 4th July 2021
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So 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.’ John 20. 24-25
Nicknames are strange things, sometimes they are acquired as the result of a specific incident. A moment in time that becomes preserved for all eternity. Take Doubting Thomas, whom the Church remembers on Saturday. Named after a stage in his life, not the final outcome. Thomas did not remain doubting for long. One week in a full adult lifetime and yet he is remembered for his words at the beginning of this week.
The reason we have Thomas’ doubt recorded is not to label Thomas as a doubter for ever, but to tell us that once he saw the risen Christ, he made his great declaration of faith: My Lord and My God. The proclamation of this message led him all the way to India, according to the tradition of the early church. So, we are presented in the character of Thomas not someone to belittle because he doubted but someone to admire because he recognised Jesus’ Kingship.
The message of John’s Gospel does not stop there for us; however, it is not just about how we should admire Thomas’ faith. We are given a message about our faith.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. John 20. 29
Jesus is acknowledging that the leap of faith people throughout the subsequent generations must make is huge. It is by the very nature of our believing in Jesus as our Lord and God, that we are blessed. And that is a totally amazing fact to contemplate. We just have to believe, and we will be blessed. What an amazing, totally awesome God we have, who will shower us with such unconditional love. Even if we have moments of doubt like Thomas we are still blessed when we have come to believe, whenever that is. And yes, our response to our faith does make demands on us to show our loyalty to our Lord and God, by our behaviour towards all our sisters and brothers throughout the world. But it is by our faith that we are blessed.
A reason surely for us all to shout from the rooftops – how truly awesome, amazing and great is our God!
With all my love and prayers