That we have a wide variety and large number of resurrection appearances preserved in the Gospels and Book of Acts is one of the great mercies of God.
I hope you get a chance to read through the Illuminated Resurrection Appearances or watch the video presentation of them. Viewing each mystical appearance, one after another, each as its own revelation, helps you to locate the one that speaks to you.
Doubting Thomas is one of my favorite of the appearances. The gentle way Jesus revealed himself to the traumatized disciples resonates in me. After such a brutal and ugly death His presence had to bring sweet relief. The words he chose, “Peace be with you”, would have melted their fears. His kindness and gentleness as he related to Thomas’ disbelief must have dispelled guilt and healed all their souls.
Peace be with you, Jesus’ words melt my own present fears. Do they melt yours? Peace be with you -- a blessing and intercession all at once from Jesus’s body to yours. Peace be with you -- from the resurrected body of Christ to the troubled earth. Take a few breaths and hear them for yourself. Peace be with you.
In a way, we are traumatized like the disciples. Disoriented by sickness and death all around our world, we are thrust into an experience of communal/global grief. Concerns and worry are strong for many aspects of the future without the comfort of the physical presence of family, neighbors, church and colleagues. This present moment brings forth all kinds of feelings in the family of doubt.
Amid uncertainty, we need a word of peace.
Behind our shut doors, the 24 hour news cycle gives a megaphone to many voices who cast doubt on one another. The many communication platforms confront us with a wide variety of perspectives, and contradictory opinions have a stage. Interpretations of information cause mistrust. Misgivings grow. Fact is not so factual as ego, personality and persuasion. It is challenging to know what to believe.
Peace is not there.
Doubt has many faces. Confusion is a form of doubt. Distrust is a form of doubt as is skepticism, fear, and ambiguity. Faithlessness and disbelief are all forms of doubt that disrupt inner peace.
How are you doubting right now? Let yourself sense your doubt, feel it like Thomas who said, I will not believe unless I see for myself. Put your own words to your doubt. Describe it.
Jesus’ words were not just words, they were words with Presence -- authentic, believable, transformational.
Jesus’ words and presence are at the center of our communion. Do this in remembrance of me. Everything can be in question and yet these words are alive for us, Take, eat, this is my body given for you.
The peace Christ often comes to us in moments when we are vulnerable like Thomas, seeking it, asking for it, searching for peace. In whatever form your doubt has, listen for Christ’s word within doubt, what is God’s prayer for you?
May the peace of God beyond all understanding be upon your hearts and minds. Peace brings forth the life of God in our world; outreaching, creative, full of energy for healing and transformation of the troubled body of this world that Christ came to save.
Trust where peace lives.
With You on the Journey,