Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/14/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Sara Shaw
Great Plains Congregational Excellence Camping Ministries Coordinator
Topeka District
Ron Schultz
Chaplain
Aldersgate Village
Topeka District
Greg McCrimmon
Chaplain
Michael E Debakey VA Medical Center
Topeka District
Lucas McConnell
Chaplain, US Army, Fort Carson CO
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

John 20:19-31


When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. 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!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Today's Devotional

I love to research. If I see a product or service I’m interested in I’ll take a deep dive into professional and personal reviews. I’ll check the technical specifications, videos, compare options, prices and scour the internet for the good, the bad and the ugly before I buy.

I’m an early technology adopter but I’m not first in line. I want pros to review it, and some consumers too. I want to match what I plan to use it for to someone else’s experience before I make my decision. I might do a trial, a test drive, a “try it before you buy it” option. Depending on the expenditure I may want to see the product in person to put my eye and my hands on it to verify it’s what I had in mind.

And after all these steps I might purchase.

Poor Thomas. He had firsthand accounts (that likely didn’t match up), he wasn’t there when it happened and all he wanted was some proof. He didn’t know that when Jesus said he was doing a new thing that it was possible that it would be resurrection from the dead. That was new, unheard of and indeed unprecedented.

Was there anyone around saying,” Yeah, my cousin Bob died on Tuesday but was back at work on Friday. Show off”? Not likely.

So why do we malign poor Thomas? Is it because we would probably do the exact same thing? Seeing is believing, right?

We can sit smugly in the future with our knowledge of how the events unfolded. We revisit them every year. Also, it’s not like we are seeing other people rise from the grave on a regular basis. Or at least I haven’t had that experience. (If you have, please let me know.)

So next year when we talk about Thomas can we cut the guy some slack? His teacher died, he probably thought he was going to go back to his old life and bam! Jesus is back!

If I won’t buy a can opener without reading a review or seeing it in a store, I think I can give Thomas some grace for needing to put eyes and hands on a risen Jesus.
-Lisa Soukup
Communication administrative assistant
lsoukup@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Heavenly Father, help us to remove the doubts from our minds. Help us to see clearly through your eyes and give grace to each other in accordance to the grace allowed for us.

 

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