Jesus is risen!  This is the fourth post in a series examining the teachings and visitations of the resurrected Christ.  Jesus sojourned with his disciples for 40 days before departing to be with the Father. The daily prayer will be considering passages from Padriag O’Tuama’s book, In the Shelter, to help guide this study.

Children of Lir by Malcolm Robertson at Ballycastle, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland


Today’s Bible reading

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.” — John 20: 26-29

More thoughts for meditation

Testimony is a powerful feature of many circles of faith.  Telling the story of conversion, re-conversion, repentance, and restoration.  In his years leading the Corrymeela Community, a spiritually based peace and reconciliation organisation in Ireland, Padriag O’Tuama witnessed the transformational power of personal testament.  It has the ability to cross sectarian divides and change hearts. Vulnerability welcomes in the hearer and builds intimacy. He describes his own insecurity about sharing the most real parts of his testimony, the wounds that shame.  Ultimately, it is our wounding that leads us to understand our need.

In today’s reading, Jesus teaches his disciples a new way to witness.  He is returning to the upper room one week after his initial appearance.  Thomas is now with the other disciples in community when Jesus appears. Let us leave aside the unfortunate notion that Thomas is a character study in doubt.  Back in chapter 11 he was the lone “ride or die for the messiah” voice. Instead, I think the text paints him as frank and direct. He states his need to see Jesus’s wounds boldly, though perhaps only understanding the surface level need. Jesus compassionately grants his request and offers a moment of intimacy that fully honors Thomas’s needs.  We, as Jesus followers, carry wounds that shape us to deliver a unique witness. God redeems our hurts by allowing us to use them for reconciliation and restoration.  

Suggestions for action 

Spend some time in silent reflection to consider your wounds.  Meditate on how you have been shaped by those experiences and how God has met you in your pain.  How is God making things right? Listen to the song Beautiful Things and think about how your testimony might honor those wounds.