Low Sunday 19th April – Reflection
The Gospel reading is the familiar story of ‘Doubting Thomas’. (John 20 : 19 – 31)
The disciples had gathered in fear and despondency after the bottom had fallen out of their world. The promises of Jesus seemed to have come to an abrupt end with his death. They had not grasped the message of Jesus that he would rise again. They must have been asking questions, perhaps ‘where is God in all this’ and ‘why did God let it happen’.
They were gathered in a locked room when Jesus came and stood among them. They must have been astonished with his appearance. This was the same Jesus who travelled with them, who shared meals with them, yet he was a different Jesus in that he could appear at will. Perhaps some began to understand what had happened.
When they told Thomas, who was absent, it was one step too far. He could not believe the claims of the other disciples and said he would not believe until he could touch Jesus in the flesh. A reaction with which many of us might identify.
In times of crisis we too might ask those same questions, ‘where is God?’ and ‘why does God allow it?’ What is the human response to the present coronavirus pandemic? For many it might be similar to that of the disciples – fear and despondency.
However, if we remember that we are created in the image of God we might take heart from those characteristics of care and compassion shown in the life of Jesus. Perhaps we are re-discovering our need for each other. There is an outpouring of ‘Godness’ or goodness – an outpouring of compassion and care for our neighbour in many areas of life.
Local community networks supporting the vulnerable, large numbers of people volunteering to support the NHS, the dedication of front line or key workers, industry changing its manufacturing output to provide the immediate needs or shortages and people becoming a new ‘land army’ to support the farmers. As the hymn puts it, God is working his purpose out’.
God is not the source of the virus, but God may be seen in the compassionate action of people. Many will not look for the risen and living Christ as the source of this new love for our neighbour and sadly will not proclaim as Thomas did ‘my Lord and my God’.
We need to be reminded of the response of Jesus to Thomas :
‘blessed are those who have believed yet have not seen’.
As followers of Christ we have an opportunity to proclaim God’s love for the world shown through the human response to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you missed it, there was a Service online at 10 am on Sunday 19 April. It was led by our Rural Dean, Revd Canon Cate Edmonds .
Coming up this week
10.30 am AVMC Friday Telephone Service
This is our own dedicated service for AVMC each Friday. Take part on the phone. Call 0330 606 0403 a couple of minutes before 10.30. Give the access code 484444#
Weekday Morning Prayer
The AVMC Ministry Teammeets online for virtual Morning Prayer each weekday to hold all in prayer. Should you have specific prayer requests please email these to Clive on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t be alone – please make sure you have telephone or internet contact with people each day. You don’t know what a difference you might make to someone’s day. Call someone – don’t wait for them to call you.