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  • Writer's pictureRichard Butler

The Thomas in Us All


Just as we all have a heart and a brain, I think that we each have a Thomas within us too.


On the Sunday after Easter, we turn to the story of Thomas, the disciple who missed out on seeing the risen Christ when the others did, and sealed his place in history with the words “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” This has earned him the label “Doubting Thomas” among Christians, but is that fair? Perhaps “Just-like-the-rest-of-us Thomas” might be fairer?


These days we are told endlessly how we should disbelieve cold callers and texters and emailers who ask us for information. My bank sends me weekly emails trying to harness my inner Thomas, to make me more sceptical and less trusting. Yet still an MP, surely not the most naïve category of people, can get tricked by scammers. Sitting within us, side by side with our inner Thomas, is his trusting counterpart (who we might call Timmy), ever ready to believe.


A life of faith is, in fact, a life with Timmy and Thomas. Behind the scenes, they debate within us whenever we think about our faith, comparing belief with experience and comparing scripture with both. This has been the inner life of the faithful ever since Thomas’ famous words were spoken. And with the support and affirmation of each other in our church community around us, our faith is shaped and strengthened, even as Timmy and Thomas continue their debate within us.


Lord, increase our faith;

that relying on you as your children,

we may trust where we cannot see,

and hope where all seems doubtful.

In the name of Jesus our Lord

Amen


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