“We were filled with laughter, and we sang with joy.” (Psalms 126:1-2)
On December 21, 2019, 3 days from now, on this day we honor Saint Thomas the Apostle.
Thomas was one of Jesus’ 12 Apostles, but his name is only given in three of the Gospels. From his interaction with Jesus in the Gospel of John, though, he has been described as a devoted impetuous and loving disciple.
After His friend Lazarus died, Jesus decided to go to Bethany even though He would be in grave danger. When Thomas heard this, he immediately said to the other disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.” (John 11:16)
During the Last Supper. Jesus told the Apostles that He would be leaving them soon. Promising to return one day. He added that they knew where he was going. Thomas interrupted and asked,
“Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way? Jesus replied, “I am the way and the truth and the live.” (John 14:5-6)
Perhaps Thomas’s most famous incident happened after Jesus’ Resurrection. Thomas was not present when Jesus first visited the Apostles. And when they told him they had seen Jesus, Thomas wanted proof. He said,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) A week later, only after Thomas actually saw and touched Jesus, did he exclaim.
“My Lord and my God!” Gently rebuking him, Jesus said, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (John 20:28-29)
Thomas needed proof and through this passage, Thomas shows the humanness of uncertainty.
A Time of Joy!
Why did I bring up The Apostle Thomas? Because he shows the humanness of uncertainty! And because he had to have proof that everything was going to be okay. He worried, he had doubt’s and he talked to the other Apostle’s, Jesus had to prove to him, that it would be okay.
This should be a joyful time…right now!… even as we all face difficulties in life, we are anxious about Christmas, it’s so hectic, trying to get everything done and keep everyone happy. We face challenges of stress, problems in the family and disappointments.
Maybe we are sick, not feeling well and we face new challenges of our health and the health of those we love and care for. It’s easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and the difficulties we face; so, we start to have doubts about the future and we ask God for proof!
We were created to enjoy life, we cannot control what happens inside of us, but we can control what happens on the outside of us. God knows our humanness, just like Thomas and the uncertainty we face. God also, wants us to know Joy and happiness. This is why; in a week we will witness the birth of the Savior.
Christmas Joy… is God becoming human…in the Person of Jesus Christ, because we need a Savior! Let the Christmas Joy become a part of you, inside and out, into your hearts and minds. As the Psalmist explains, Joy is being restored by the Lord. I wish you good health, happiness and Joy this Christmas season.
Jesus replied, “I am the way and the truth and the live.” (John 14:5-6)
Rev. Lola Culbreath