Christ is Risen!
The days after Easter can be filled with glory and…disappointment. That’s certainly what Thomas felt. All of his friends were together in the upper room when Jesus appeared in his resurrection body, filled them with his Spirit and released them for a new era of ministry.
So while his friends’ fear and grief was transformed into joy and hope, his heart was still full of pain. If anything, his spiritual burden was even heavier because he bore it alone. Whatever had happened to his friends, hadn’t happened to him. Whatever Jesus had given to them, Thomas hadn’t received.
There is no loneliness like the loneliness we experience inside our faith communities.
This month we are beginning a new worship series called practices–about the habits, customs and traditions that can form us in healthy and holy ways. On Wednesday of each week, you can look for a short video created by one of our church members about an individual spiritual practice that is giving them life and drawing them closer to the Lord. On Sundays during the preaching moment, we are going to consider the actions we can participate in together to create a healthy and holy church culture. We find the first communal practice modeled in Thomas’ story–in the way his community allowed him to tell the truth and belong before he believed. His friends, who had themselves only recently learned how fully they could trust Jesus, had the courage to trust Jesus to meet Thomas in his doubts.
As people who love and follow a savior who defeated sin and death for love’s sake, we can trust Jesus with our lives and with the lives of those we love. We aren’t called to believe for one another, resolve one another’s doubts or fill one another’s empty spaces. We can trust God to be God in one another’s lives. That’s what Thomas’ friends did–and the story of their faithfulness blesses us still.