John 20:24-29, set for Sunday 3rd July (Thomas)
Three characters, A, B and C. A is rather bluff, B much more shy.
A I really don’t understand why we make all this fuss about a wimp! I mean, I can see the point of celebrating success, and looking up to people who show us the way, but Thomas – what a waste of space!
B (rather shyly) Don’t you think he might be encouraging to people with doubts? I often think of him when I’m struggling with something I don’t understand, or when I can’t see my way forward through a situation.
C I think you’re both right.
A What do you mean?
B Er, I can’t quite see how, er (fades out)
C Well, it is important to celebrate success, and that is why we remember Thomas.
A But how was he a success?
C He was a success because he recognised Jesus as God. That’s a real punchline in John’s gospel “My Lord and my God”. No-one else says that
A Well, all right. I suppose we ought to applaud that.
B He recognised his doubts and faced up to them – isn’t that success? It takes more courage to do that than to pretend everything’s fine, – doesn’t it?
C Well, I suppose it might.
A You mean, the fact that he was still there when Jesus came back a week later is important. He stuck with it, and didn’t just give up?
B Something like that, yes. After all we think he founded the church in south west India.
C So Thomas is a good example of God using sinners. The Christian faith not about being superheroes, but about ordinary people who get plenty of things wrong, but with the help of the Holy Spirit are included in God’s plans and work.
A So you’re saying that Thomas isn’t a wimp, he’s an ordinary human failure becoming something useful for God?
B – and that part of his development is facing his doubts?
C All of that, though perhaps my sympathy goes to the rest of the disciples. They were excited, delighted and enthusiastic, but they still put up with this misery for a whole week until Jesus appeared to them again. If we celebrate Thomas, we also celebrate the Church who helped him.
A&B Fair enough, they all show what Jesus can do with people. Isn’t it good?
(381 words – rather short!) (click here to return to the Index of Sketches)