Week 4 Day 2: Trusting in Jesus (Thomas)

“Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
John 20:26-28

Trusting in Jesus (Thomas)
Drenching our hands with holy water, filling our noses with the fragrance of incense smoke, taking hold of our friends and strangers when we exchange the peace in church, we are inspired to go out into the world to see and to take hold of Jesus so that we can really follow him and live in intimate union with him.

-Br. Keith Nelson



Transcript:

From the 20th chapter of the Gospel according to John, “Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt, but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God.'”

“My Lord and my God.”  For me this is really the key to this passage, the key that opens a whole world, a whole inner universe of intimate union with Jesus. So when we’re praying for this grace to learn from Jesus’ followers what it means to live in intimate union with Jesus, we have an incredibly rich example in Thomas and his dramatic “before and after.”

Thomas, who before was probably resentful, maybe angry, definitely isolated, was dropped into a new level, a deeper level of intimate union with Jesus by returning to his community, and by accepting the invitation of Jesus to touch him. So when I think about what this passage can mean for our life as followers of Jesus seeking to live in intimate union with him, I think about the difference between trying to do the Christian life as an isolated individual, which really doesn’t work in my experience and in our experience as a community. And I think about a wholehearted engagement with Christian community. So I think about the practice of going to church. Going to church when you feel like it, but definitely going to church when you don’t feel like it. Showing up, being there because Jesus is there in the assembled Body, the whole community, which is stronger than the individual alone.

I also think about the example in this passage, the spiritual wisdom in this passage, a full-bodied engagement with liturgical worship. So drenching our hands with holy water, filling our noses with the fragrance of incense smoke, taking hold of our friends and strangers when we exchange the peace in church, and then being inspired to go out into the world to see and to take hold of Jesus so that we can really follow him and live in intimate union with him.

So a practice of prayer that I engage in in my own prayer journal is I have a red pen and I have a blue pen. The blue pen is me; the red pen is Jesus. So I write in my blue pen in a really uncensored, honest kind of way, the same uncensored honesty that we see in Thomas.  And then I stop and I listen and I wait to hear what Jesus has to say in response to me, and often I use specific titles, specific nicknames for Jesus, and as I’ve come to listen in this practice, there are nicknames, titles, names for me that Jesus uses in reply. So you might try something like that in your prayer journal. Have a color for Jesus, have a color for you, and have a truly intimate conversation.

We invite you to share your answer in the comments below or using #MeetingJesus

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