From Unbelief to Faith
Hello dear friends and family in Christ,
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is John 20: 19-31, when I was reading this it took me back to Good Friday and the Crucifixion of Jesus.
On Good Friday, I very strongly, felt, I wanted to submerge myself in Mel Gibson's film 'The Passion of Christ'. So, from 1pm – 3pm I watched it in it's entirety. I had first seen it probably 20 years ago.
The film tells the story of the last hours of Jesus life and the incredible brutality he suffered by the Jewish officials who questioned him about blasphemy, then arrested him. There were relentless frenzied, savage, humiliating attacks on him. Jesus had been asked by the high priests about his teaching. Pilate asked him if he was 'The King of the Jews', Jesus told him, 'My Kingdom is not of this world'.
Eventually, the officials were encouraging the crowds to crucify Jesus. There was overwhelming ruthless, sadistic attacks on Jesus. It was all so inhumane and manic, acrazy enforcement of brutality and bloodshed.
I cried. Jesus was near to death as he was continually flogged by the crowd and officers. Then savagely nailed to the cross. I cried. He forgives.
Today's Gospel is about Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples not believing that Jesus could still be alive after all he knew, about the killing of Jesus. It's easy for us to be cynical and demand proof and evidence too.
God has given us a mind to think and reason. The Lord Jesus appeared to Thomas to lead him from unbelief to faith.
Through seeing the risen Jesus, Thomas came to a profound faith. His confession of faith was, 'My Lord and my God', it brought him to become an amazing missionary, travelling far and wide and bringing people to faith in many parts of the world.
Often we struggle with our doubts. We doubt God loves us and what about his plans for us – are we convinced there are any?
We, like Thomas, need Jesus to lead us from doubt to faith, from unbelief to belief. Why not start reading the Gospels again, we need to be the bearer of Good News to ourselves, before we tell others of the amazing Jesus.
The situations we read about will help us with the challenges and situations we struggle with. Let us allow the Gospels to enter us and change us. There's a complexity of excruciating, barbaric,
murderous behaviour, AND there is the profound simplicity of beautiful, wonderful truths to learn. Above all the truth of the Gospel is that God is love, and that the 3 in one God, the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, loves me and you. I smile.
Let us pray:-
Loving Jesus, we come before you in our brokenness and with our fears and apprehensions. We come seeking unity and peace. Bind us together by the power of your Spirit, that strengthened by faith, we may worship you in Spirit and in truth.
Jesus lead us from the ignorance of unbelief into the joy of a living faith and protect us from the temptation to doubt your love.
Blessings galore and virtual hugs from,
Rev'd Wilma Horton.
Here is the Parish Link for this week.