In her sermon yesterday, the Rev. Dr. Kristine Blaess talked about how Thomas’ blindness was lifted only when he was able to touch and feel the wounds of Christ. Thomas didn’t believe that it was his resurrected friend just because the other disciples told him of their encounter, or even when he first saw Christ. We may recognize Jesus’ immediately in our lives, or wait for more physical evidence, but when our sight becomes clear it is a joy at knowing the risen Christ. That joy leads us into the deeper mystery of being a disciple of Christ.
David Brooks in his op ed article in the New York Times of April 7, 2014 on “What Suffering Does,” suggests that although we pursue happiness, when we think back, we recognize that it is during times of suffering that we are refined. Brooks states it plainly, “The right response to this sort of pain is not pleasure. It’s holiness.”
Rev. Blaess continued, “as we suffer, our illusion of control is burned away and we understand that not only can we not control what is around us, we are powerless to even control what is within us.” It is only then when we start to rely on and trust God.
Rev. Blaess cautioned, however, that just like when a blind person first sees, our vision is not perfectly clear. This trust in God takes time. She shared with us her personal experience of willingness to trust God with her death and personal salvation, but not with her life. She came to the realization that she “wanted more”, and it was only then that she turned her life over God, and started on a new journey that continues.
In her closing remarks, Rev. Blaess commented, “It takes courage to see. Whatever life and death throw at us, love and hope will be there. Loving and being loved are worthwhile no matter what it takes for us to see Christ.”
I pray that the veil will be lifted from our blindness and we’ll begin to see the hope and love that is within us through Christ. It takes courage, but it is well worth it when we relinquish control and completely trust God.
Blessings, my friend,
(click below for MP3 file)