The New Room is sharing a Friday reflection each week during the time that we are closed. Even though we cannot currently join together for our usual Friday lunchtime Communion service in the chapel, we hope that these short reflections will act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
Today’s Friday Reflection is by Rev’d David Weeks who is a Chaplain at the New Room.
The traditional reading for the Sunday after Easter is John Chapter 20 verses 19-31. Read it and spend a moment imagining the two events pictured there.
In the first, Jesus appears on Easter evening to the disciples who were hiding away from everyone, because they were fearful that what had happened to Jesus might happen to them. They had been unable to believe what the women of their company had told them, that Jesus was alive. It is only the appearance of Jesus to them that convinces them. Thomas (some call him’ the doubter’) was absent from the disciples that evening and felt unable to accept their assurances. He needs to see for himself.
The next Sunday, when Thomas is present with the others, Jesus appears again and offers Thomas the proof he requires; that Jesus is not dead but alive. To see Jesus is more than enough for Thomas and he makes his great confession about Jesus ‘My Lord and my God’.
I love the fact that Jesus understood Thomas and seemed just to appear for him. He knew what Thomas was like. It was he who said to Jesus at the Last Supper that they didn’t know where Jesus was going and if they didn’t know that how could they follow him. It was a question which perhaps only he dared to ask. Jesus also knew that Thomas was no coward, for when the rest of the disciples were unwilling to go to Jerusalem with Jesus, it was Thomas who said ‘Let us go, even if it means we die with him’. Thomas is someone to admire, not to despise.
When we go through times of anxiety and uncertainty, we need to remember that we belong to a God who understands. Our fears need not been hidden as a guilty secret. For perhaps in sharing we help others and ourselves.
Jesus says to his disciples ‘Peace be with you’
Jesus, Son of God. there are times when in following you, the path is not easy and the sky is dark.
Speak your hope to our uncertainty.
Bring your courage to our fears
When we fall may your love lift us to our feet
and say to us again ‘Peace be with you’.