A lightbulb moment (10-04-21)
Bible Reading: John 20:24-29
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.
Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said,
"Peace be with you!"
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands.
Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Have you ever had a ‘lightbulb moment’? Have you have been in a time of uncertainty and indecision and then suddenly you have had a thought or realisation that has enabled you to find the way forwards? I had one when, after nineteen years of enjoyable ministry in my previous parish, I realised I would rather be ministering for longer on a half-time basis than for a just a few more years on a full-time basis. And so we moved to Walgrave. We had another lightbulb moment recently when Helen was made redundant and, rather than worrying about the future, we realised that God is more concerned about ministry and vocation than he is about career and salary.
Thomas had a lightbulb moment in the upper room a week after the resurrection of Jesus. Having missed Jesus’ appearance on the first Easter evening, he doubted the reports of the other disciples. That was until Jesus came and showed him his wounded hands and side. Then, we are told, he saw and believed, and he responded, ‘My Lord and my God’.
I love the gracious way that Jesus dealt with Thomas’s doubts. It is unfair to label him as ‘Doubting Thomas’. He was no more doubting than the other disciples, still locked away in the upper room, and he was no more doubting than you or me. Thomas was honest about where he was in his faith journey and Jesus responded to that honesty and met him where he was.
We are all on a journey of faith, and somewhere on that journey there will be a time when we see and believe. It may be a lightbulb moment, or it may be a gradual dawning, but for all of Jesus’ followers there will be a time when we can say of Jesus ‘My Lord and my God’. It is never too late to come to that realisation and decision and to know the blessing of believing without seeing.
It would take another five weeks, and the experience of Pentecost, to finally bring the disciples out of the upper room. Like each of us, they were on a journey of faith, but now they knew that Jesus was their Lord and their God. Where are you on that journey?
Risen Lord Jesus, thank you that you meet with me in my doubts and fears and lead me on to deepen my faith in you.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son