Signposts: Daily Devotions

Saturday, August 16

So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
—John 20:19

(New American Standard)

Just imagine that you had followed Jesus for three years, he had been executed by the government for insurrection, and you and the other disciples were in disagreement as to what to do next.

You were likely quarreling about a report from Mary Magdalene that she had seen Jesus. Then, when you were away, Jesus came, stood among the other disciples and declared "Peace be with you."    

Thomas was the disciple absent when Jesus came; I have always identified with Thomas. And if we're honest, I think most of us know him as our twin brother. No matter the depth of our faith, we'd have loved to have been there when Jesus came. We'd love to know, as an eyewitness, that Jesus is around, walking, talking, and teaching. We desire the scientific proof, the verifiable fact. So it's completely natural to say with Thomas, "I want physical proof."    

But do we really need it? Sure it'd be nice to have seen Christ with our own eyes. But what would it change? We experience the risen one in the relationships among us. Whether in our community of faith or in a loved one, we have the love of God poured into us through those whose very lives participate in the resurrected life of Christ.

Sometimes we wander and sometimes the lives we live are anything but resurrected. But when we look for Jesus among the people God gives us each day, it's amazing how very often Christ turns up.    

Participating in this resurrected life doesn't stop the Thomas in us from questioning. And that's good. Faith doesn't require blindness. But faith likewise seeks much more than scientific proof. For in the end, God, Christ, the resurrection—all things sacred—are matters of the heart.    

And that's a leap worth taking.    

Risen God, be known to me today. Surprise me in the life of others, and through them, give me the gift of faith. Amen.

The Signposts for August are written by Michael Sullivan and originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.