June 26 - Belief or Cynicism

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26 – Belief or Cynicism

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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.”

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!” 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.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29)

I wanted to be the girl who had a spaceship show up in her backyard and ask if she wanted a ride.  But, I also knew that there wouldn’t be very many people who believed it had happened.  The only ones who might believe would be those who knew me well enough to know that I didn’t make stuff like that up.

We have been tricked and fooled so often in our lives that it is difficult to believe those who tell us something absolutely fantastic.  In fact, the fantastic and extraordinary doesn’t happen too often at all any more, does it?  There is always a mundane explanation for anything that occurs.

Thomas was just that cynical. He was even more cynical than me.  If the people that I had spent the better part of two years with told me something amazing, I would probably believe them … or at least give them the benefit of the doubt. If I had also spent those two years watching Jesus perform incredible miracles, I would probably believe that He could return from the dead.  But, Thomas wasn’t prepared to believe.  He needed proof.

Today we are that cynical.  What will it take to give our faith more than lip service – to live our lives as if Jesus really did something as over the top as the Resurrection?  To live in peace and joy rather than fear and misery?  To treat the world around us in love and grace rather than anger and mistrust?

Will we have to see Him and place our hands in the wounds?