The Rev. Chris Bowhay started his sermon this past Sunday saying that Thomas gets a bad rap as a “doubter”.
“Why do people doubt miracles like a risen Christ?” Chris asked. He told a story of a woman in the 70’s who’d gotten caught up in a life of drugs and the debauchery of the times. But through grace she wanted to change. Her therapist asked, “How did you get mixed up in the lifestyle to begin with?” “That’s an easy answer,” she replied, “I believed in the lies because I wanted to.”
Chris said, “the problem in today’s world isn’t so much that people doubt something, but instead that they believe in everything. We believe in lies because we want to.”
Chris suggested that we ask ourselves, “What do we want to believe in?” or “Why do we doubt?” or even more to the point, “What has happened to us that makes us doubt God?”
It was Thomas who was the bold one. When Jesus announced that He was going back to Jerusalem, the other disciples protested, reminding Jesus that Jerusalem was where he was almost stoned. Why would he want to go back there and face the wrath of the crowds?”
But it was Thomas who said, “Let’s go with Him, so that we may die with Him.” (John 11:16). Thomas loved Jesus so much that he did not want to survive his savior! These are certainly not the words of a weak follower of Christ!
Rev. Bowhay continued, “A cynic is a disappointed idealist who refuses to believe anything is true.”
Instead of asking Thomas to give up his unbelief, Jesus was really asking Thomas to give up his despair over losing Jesus in the crucifixion. It wasn’t that Thomas didn’t want to believe that Christ had risen, but Thomas was disappointed that all their dreams and desires hadn’t come to pass. There wasn’t going to be a new kingdom of riches with Jesus as the king. Instead his King had died.
But here was Jesus, asking Thomas to get over his grief and despair at all the disappointments that life had brought him, offering instead a new life of love and wonder, and asking Thomas to believe in Him again.
If we want to love again, we have to let Jesus take away our despair over disappointments in our life over failed relationships, crushing addictions, betrayals by family and friends and failing bodies. It is only when we can believe in Him again that we can love again.
It is up to us to show the world the wounds in the palms of our hands, let others examine the wounds and then demonstrate how our wounds have been transformed into badges of glory.
When we let Christ love us again, we will be like Thomas, proclaiming, “My Lord and my God!”
Believe that Christ is risen today and He will take away your despair in disappointment and replace them with His love.
Discerning Thomas- (click below for MP3 file)