Meeting us where we are

by Apr 25, 2020Sermons

John 20:19-31

Doubting Thomas

Over the years we have been to lots of interactive shows, craft events and performances with the children. Some of the best have really thought about how the children are welcomed into the space. Going into anywhere new is always a bit discomforting, even terrifying if you don’t know what to expect. Perhaps some of you feel that way joining us via zoom and facebook live. Those times where we were met as we arrrived, welcomed into the event, put at peace, helped to know what was happening, what was expected, were by far the easiest events to make the most of.

As it starts, today’s Gospel Reading feels like it is written for today as we each are gathered in our own homes behind closed doors. The disciples are behind locked doors, closed off, in lock down. They still weren’t sure what was going on, this is the evening on Easter Day, they were still locked down, in fear, and Jesus comes and stands amongst them.
And says ‘Peace be with you.’

I went out briefly yesterday. We have been pretty absolute about staying on site this week – never leaving the house. Going out into the street, down to Cricklewood Lane, I felt quite nervous, worried somebody might come to close, almost frightened that even just stepping a foot from the property boundary that I am somehow immediately going to contract Covid-19 – I know this is a little irrational – but that is how it feels.

Jesus breathes on them and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit and that they can forgive people’s sins. But of course Thomas isn’t there and when he hears what they’ve said he has a clear test that he needs to perform to believe, seeing and touching the wounds of Christ. A week later and again the disciples are still locked away, only this time Thomas is with them. Jesus invites Thomas to perform his tests – even before he asks, and Thomas declares: ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus comments that Thomas believes because he has seen, but blessed will those who believe without seeing.

I’m struck by the fact that in these stories Jesus comes to the disciples where they are, locked behind doors. He comes to Thomas where he is in his disbelief. He comes to us now in our homes on our own and with our families. In each case bringing peace, bringing hope, bringing a belief and faith to where it wasn’t before.  And in bringing that he transforms us. For Thomas he becomes the first person after the resurrection in John’s Gospel to declare Jesus as Lord. For the disciples, they are given a mission to bring the grace, peace and forgiveness which Jesus has brought from the father. For us, we are transformed to live life in his name, that we should do so with a hope for the future which helps us to see a horizon beyond this time, to when all shall be well again.

The Reverend Robin Sims-Williams

Weekly Services

Sunday Mornings

8.00am Morning Prayer in the lady chapel
10.00am Parish Eucharist with choir and Sunday School

Weekday Services

Christian Meditation Wednesdays at 9.10am
Said Eucharist on Wednesdays at 11.00am
Evening Prayer
Monday through Thursday at 5.30pm

Please note that Public worship has been suspended, you can therefore participate in these services via Facebook live stream

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