Find a quiet place, get comfortable and see this time as time set aside with your Lord.
Here is a prayer to help you get started.
You are the king who was once dead but now is alive. You rule over all and your reign is good. Today I seek to bring you praise as the one who has conquered death and have your kingdom once again invade my heart. As I take this time now to seek you, may you speak to me in this quiet and may I know the power of your death and resurrection in my own life.
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
There might be a few things that you noticed as you read. Maybe some questions. But for now, take note of these few things. Go back over the particular verses.
Take some time to examine your life, before the resurrected Jesus, by undertaking these few exercises.
What are your fearful of? What is locked away within you? Think in terms of what you most feel bound by. Or what are most concerned about losing, or what you most fear failing in, or what you most fear being overtaken by? Write your answers, being as honest as possible.
Where are you doubtful? What are the things that most hound your faith? What are you sceptical about? Or where do you feel shame that you aren’t a better Christian? Or what is most tempting to make you give up? Where do you just wish you could see Jesus in the flesh so he could give you make things clear for you? Again, write your answer.
Seeing the resurrected Jesus is quite a joyful thing but also a little unnerving for the disciples. But he speaks peace to both the fearful and the doubtful. Peace is the invitation to find fellowship with him despite fear and doubt. This is the Good News, that Jesus extends peace to us, even when we aren’t in the best possible shape to receive it.
Take some time now exercise your belief in Jesus and receive his peace. Do this by taking a ‘tiny sabbath’, that is, sit silently for two minutes. Set a timer, take two or three deep breaths, push aside the thoughts that might distract you and spend the time silently centring yourself on Jesus and his love for you.
Finally now, take some time to list the ways in which your belief in Jesus has given you life over the last few weeks. What has energised you? Where have you been provided for? Where have you seen examples of his grace? Finish by thanking him for these things and praying that our church family will continue to experience life in him.
Brad Dewson, Minister Goondiwindi Presbyterian Church