Daily Scripture and Prayer June 2021
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church
Daily Scripture and Prayer - June 2021 - Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church
This month’s scriptures begin with the pain, disorientation and fear that surround Jesus’ crucifixion and conclude with the heady joy, disbelief, and awe of the resurrection. We have now seen the worst that human beings can do to each other. It is a poignant picture of what happens when religion sells out to political power thinking that it is saving itself or furthering its ends. The result is disdain by the powerful and the blood of the innocent. We also see this month, that the worst that can happen is never the last thing that happens. God will not allow human pain, fear and brokenness to have the last word. Not then. Not ever. This month’s verses begin with horror and end was a faith that soars!
June 1 – John 19:23-25a - 23When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” 25And that is what the soldiers did. The soldiers are doing their jobs. Numb, no doubt, from the many executions they have worked, they see Jesus only as a criminal with a nice tunic one might be able to use. Little did they know that they, too, were part of a bigger story. The scripture that the author of John references here is likely Psalm 22:18.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes we, too, have been unwitting accomplices in unspeakable things. We, too, become numb to the violence that has become common place. We, too, look for advantage in the misfortunes of others. Forgive us God and help us to remember that we are a part of a story that is bigger than our blind spots. Thank you for using us even when we don’t know it to further your kingdom. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 2 – John 19:25b - Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Here the scene shifts from the unseeing soldiers to the deeply faithful women. Throughout John, we have seen him elevate the women. It was important for John to remind us that their love was stronger than their fear or pain. And so should ours always be. Mary Magdalene is the only disciple mentioned in all four gospels as faithfully staying by Jesus to the end.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for reminding us that your love for us and our love for you is bigger than any circumstance we may face. With you, when we stay close to you, we can withstand anything. We praise you! In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 3 – John 19:26-27 - 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”27Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
We have already established that we do not know for sure who the beloved disciple was. In any case, he is entrusted with a powerful task by the dying Jesus. The early mystics understood this action as Jesus seeking the protection not just of his faithful mother, but of
what she represented. To them Mary was the womb of the church. When she goes to the home of the beloved disciple, they understood that as a symbol for the starting of a new family of God, the church itself.
Prayer: Dear God, just as the beloved disciple did for Mary, help us to provide safe harbor for the hurting, the vulnerable and the faithful. Help us together to become the womb of the church, providing what is needing for protection and growth. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 4 – John 19:28-29 - 28After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So, they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. This is an interesting verse in Greek. The word for finished can also be translated as completed. It refers not just to finishing a task but to the completing of a long-standing plan, often a divine plan. It is the end state of something. The tense is interesting, as well. It could be literally translated “Jesus, knowing that already everything has been completed.” This implies that it was his life and the offering of it that was the actually saving action, not the death itself. Once all that is needed has be accomplished, then he gives himself over to death. The scripture referenced is Psalm 69:22. The hyssop is used to put the blood on the doorpost at Passover so that those within may be spared. Sour wine was offered as an anesthetic.
Prayer: Dear God, we thank you for your great love for us and your willingness to go wherever that love led. Help us today to complete what you have for us to do so that we too my let go of our burdens and find rest. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 5 – John 19:30 - 30When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Here again Jesus uses the word for completion of long standing plan. It could be translated “It has been accomplished.” Even in his weakness this is a powerfully confident statement. There is an important subtlety here as well. Of course, the phrase, gave up his spirit simply means that he died. It means more than that too. John says that Jesus gave up his spirit. He uses the word pneuma. The ancients believed it was the soul (psyche) that animated the body and left at death. Spirit, pneuma, is more generic. Soul is individual, but spirit is more like the principle of life. To let go of spirit suggests that now the Spirit of Christ has become universal, it now moves and blows through the whole world.
Prayer: Dear God we are so grateful for the love you lavish upon us. Thank you, that as Jesus released his spirit, he released that powerful love to move around the whole world. Help us today to be instruments of that great love. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 6 – John 19:31 - 31Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed. It took a long time for a person to die on a cross. Sometimes it took days.
Deuteronomy 21:22-23 states that an executed criminal’s corpse is not to be allowed to hang on a tree overnight. They didn’t want Jesus to hang all night, then die the next day on Passover when they would then be forbidden to take him down by one law and required to do so by another. The solution was to hasten his death. It was not uncommon to break prisoners’ legs or to stab them to hasten death.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes we too feel the pull of competing necessities. Help us not to become so caught up in the demands of life that we fail to see the big picture and race for expedient solutions that are not needed or even cruel. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 7 – John 19:32-33 - 32Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. They need not have worried. Even in death Jesus protects them.
Prayer: Dear God, we thank you for your generosity. We thank you that your love is so far sighted that you even seek to protect us from our short sighted or self-serving choices. Help us today to trust in your way and rest in your provision. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 8 – John 19:34-35 34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. 35(He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.) Christians for centuries have pondered the reference to blood and water. Clearly John and his community saw these fluids as highly symbolic of what Jesus does for us with the blood representing Eucharist and water representing baptism. Early commentators also talked about the water as the living water Jesus referenced with the woman at the well. The ‘he’ in the parenthetical comment is the beloved disciple.
Prayer: Dear God, you give us life that bubbles up to eternity. We thank you today for the grace of our baptism and the ongoing nurture of the Lord’s Supper. In those sacraments you work miracles as surely as you did on the cross and we are grateful. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 9 – John 19:36-37 - 36These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.” Scholars are not certain of the reference in the first quotation. The closest in the Old Testament in Psalm 34:20 but it could refer to a scripture we no longer have. The second reference comes from Zechariah 12:10. It is important to the early evangelists that they demonstrate that Jesus was not just a man who rose up out of nowhere but that he was the long awaited one.
Prayer: Dear God, you do not change. Who you are is who you have always been and always will be. You are alpha and omega, beginning and end, breath of our breath and life of our life. We thank you for reminders that you have been at work long before we
were aware and that you still do today what you have always done before. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 10 – John 19:38 - 38After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so, he came and removed his body. Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy and influential member of the Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin. We believe that he was intrigued by Jesus and some suggest that he was an early secret disciple. This might account for why John references his fear. I think he is a very important figure to consider. While the bulk of the New Testament, and indeed Jesus’ own teaching, depicts the wealthy and powerful in overwhelmingly negative ways. Joseph shows us that while the wealthy and powerful are often enemies of change and the kingdom, wealth and power in the hands of those with courage and integrity can be used to further God’s plan and the common good.
Prayer: Dear God, it is so easy for us to generalize, to decide that whole groups of people are all the same. Help us today to remember that all people belong to you and that you can use any willing hands to further your will. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 11 – John 19:39 39Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. This is the Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night with questions about the kingdom. He was the one that Jesus said must be born again, anew or from above. Perhaps he took Jesus’ words to heart and became a secret disciple too. We don’t know, but this is an absurd amount of spice mixture that he brings. A hundred pounds would probably have been about what Jesus himself! What is clear is that extravagant love poured out to us by Jesus is met with extravagant devotion in return.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes we have to think things over for a long time before we decide what is right and true for us too. Help us today to see you clearly, as we hope that Nicodemus did, and respond with the extravagant offer of ourselves in your service. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 12 – John 19:40 - 40They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Burial and funeral customs were very strict in Jesus’ day. Burial took place within 24 hours of death. Embalming was not practiced by Jews at this time. Bodies were washed and prepared for burial by anointing with oils. The body was wrapped in a clean cloth and herbs were tucked into the folds. Then the body was placed on a stretcher, or bier, and carried outside the city for burial, often in a cave with carved shelves and a stone across the opening to prevent animals from robbing the graves.
Prayer: Dear God, help us today to find new ways to reverence and serve you. Help us to see the gifts we have to offer and where they are needed most. Thank you for all of the guidance you give us. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 13 – John 19:41-42 - 41Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden, there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. Jesus’ followers, those who followed in the open and those who followed in secret, were very faithful people. They wanted to fulfill all of the laws and customs of their day as a way of showing honor to Jesus. The importance of the new tomb is that it had never been profaned by holding other bodies or bones.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes our customs seem cumbersome, and we chafe beneath their load. Sometimes they are familiar and comforting. Sometimes they take us forward. Sometimes they hold us in check. Help us today to find meaning in our daily tasks and habits so that we may give you honor and glory in our lives. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 14 – John 20:1 - Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. Everything in John’s gospel moves toward the moment of resurrection. John is clear that it is not resurrection that saves us. It is the sacrifice of love that does that. Resurrection is also more than a reminder that God can do miracles or that love wins, and we can live forever, as if that is not enough! It is not even simple vindication of Jesus’ sinless life. In John, the empty tomb is the demonstration of the truth that no matter what, the Light of God is indestructible. The first day is symbolic of the dawn of a new age. While it was still dark, reminds us that Light comes even when most are still in the dark and without enlightenment. In John, Mary Magdalene comes alone. This is important because it indicates that she was the first apostle. It was centuries later that she began to be portrayed as a sinner and prostitute. Those designations are not in the Bible.
Prayer: Dear God, what a miracle, even when we live in a time of darkness, around us and inside of us, your Light still shines. Nothing can stop you, not even the worst that human beings can imagine and do. Help us today to live in your Light, filled with confidence and open to new illumination! In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 15 – John 20:2 - 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Notice the ‘we’ in Mary’s statement. She is speaking for the group. They do not know what has happened. In all probability she believes that the Jewish authorities have stolen the body so that his disciples do not make a shrine of his tomb.
Prayer: Dear God, give us the wisdom of Mary to know that when we are amazed or confused that we need each other. In broken and fearful times only together can we find our way to the truth and the new starts you have for us. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 16 – John 20:3-5 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the
tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. These two men must have been terrified. Maybe they hoped Mary was mistaken. The detail of the linen wrappings is important. That tells us that the body has not been stolen. It is a symbolic way of saying that Jesus has left death behind.
Prayer: Dear God, when we are confronted with the power and mystery of your love and the eternal hope of the resurrection, sometimes we are stopped in our tracks too. Sometimes we are afraid to enter into the mystery with our whole minds, souls and bodies. Help us today to leap in to meet your love and be changed by its power. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 17 – John 20:6-7 - 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Many have speculated as to why the beloved disciple waited to enter. Most suggest that it was in deference to Peter’s position in the group. Maybe. Maybe he just needed support in order to face the incomprehensible. We just don’t know. The wrapping for the head took on great importance to the early believers as well. They saw the face veil being rolled and set apart from the other cloths as symbolic of a new intimacy made possible with God in Christ. Moses was required to veil his face in the presence of the holy. There is no longer a need for a veil because God has come and walked with us directly.
Prayer: Dear God, even when we are confused and do not know what you are up to, you give us clues about your love and availability to us. We thank you that we can go to your directly with all our needs. Help us to turn to you often today and simply enjoy your presence. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 18 – John 20:8-10 - 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes. We have no clue about Peter’s mental state in these verses. Was he ashamed of his betrayal and that he didn’t stay with Jesus to the end? Was he just plan terrified? Whatever the case, the beloved disciple doesn’t care about any of that. As the first letter of John (4:18) tells us, love casts out fear. He simply believes, even when he doesn’t understand and must be terrified of what the future might hold for them. Love trusts and as we have learned before, the word for believe in Greek means to trust.
Prayer: Dear God, help us today to trust your love for us and to allow that love to make us strong enough to face whatever today brings. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 19 - John 20:11-12 - 11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. While the beloved disciple’s love believes, Mary’s love stays close. Only in John do we get the full picture of her grief bringing her to passionate tears. Why does she look inside? Does she think that something may have changed? Does she hope her eyes have deceived her? We don’t know. What we
do know is that when she looks to where she last saw Jesus, in her grief and confusion, she gets the message that she needs. Angels are always messengers from God bringing to people exactly what is needed to meet the moment.
Prayer: Dear God, help us today to look to you for our guidance. Send to us the angels we need to help us see you and what you are doing more clearly. In that seeing help us to respond with wonder and joy. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 20 – John 20:13 - 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” The question that the angels put to Mary is so touching. They know that there is no cause for her deep distress, but they want her to name it so that her pain can be addressed directly and specifically. She responds with her deepest anguish; Jesus has been taken from her and she doesn’t know how to find him.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes we do not know how to find you either. We long for feelings of closeness we have known in the past to be constant unwavering experiences. That is just not the way it is. Help us today to bring the truth of our longing for you to you, trusting that you will always meet our need in the way that is best for us. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 21 – John 20:14 - 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. The Bible is full of stories of God showing up incognito in order to accompany or test believers. In addition, Mary’s lack of recognition teaches us that resurrected bodies are different even while souls are the same. It is also worth noting that when we are grieving or afraid, we often don’t recognize Jesus in the ways he comes to us either. It has been said that most people don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are and how we expect them to be.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes we cannot see you when you are standing right beside us. Our lives and responsibilities are like blinkers and we don’t see you in the gifts of nature, the love of friends, the words of scripture, the sweetness of sacrament. Help us today, Lord, to see you everywhere we turn. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 22 – John 20:15 - 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” This is so poignant! Here Jesus repeats the first words that he spoke in John’s gospel, ‘Whom are you looking for?’ He begins the new relationship by exploring her pain and then asking her to identify the one who can actually address it!
Prayer: Dear God, you care about every aspect of our lives. Thank you for inviting us to tell you our whole truth and for nudging us to recognize what and who we really need and can rely upon. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 23 – John 20:16 - 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Earlier in John 10, Jesus tells his followers that he is
the Good Shepherd and that his sheep will recognize his voice when he calls them by name. Here we see that reality lived out. He recognizes her completely and when he calls her name, she recognizes him too. This is an intensely intimate moment and one that is available to each of us. The word Rabbbouni is in Aramaic and is more solemn than the simple Hebrew rabbi. It is a word often associated with God. Some scholars suggest that Mary’s response is the first creed of the Christian Church.
Prayer: Dear God, today, as every day, we hear you call us each by name. Help us to respond with the faith of Mary Magdalene so that we too may know the richness of your risen presence with us. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 24 - John 20:17 - 17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” The word ‘hold on’ doesn’t just mean to touch. It means to hinder. Jesus is not rebuffing Mary. He is just asking her not to hinder his progress and mission. ‘Brothers’, adelphoi, is a word used for family. It is not a gender limited word. He is sending her to find the family of disciples and give them the good news of the resurrection. He ties this good news with the Ascension to the Father. While that change in sphere may feel like painful abandonment to them, it is actually the best possible news. Not only does it indicate that death is transcend-able, but it makes the gift of the spirit more available. Jesus is no longer limited to one time or place.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes we would like to lay hold of you and hold you close, at our beck and call in predictable human ways. But that is not your way. Help us to experience the miracle of your closeness and your vastness today. Help us to relax knowing that there is no place or condition from which you are absent. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 25 – John 20:18 - 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. Mary obeys without question or argument. She goes at Jesus’ word and tells the others what she has experienced. That is the heart of evangelism: Go and share what you have experienced. We are given no information about how the others received her testimony. In the next scene we see that there are terrified and casting about for a way to make sense of it all. Before we look at the subsequent resurrection appearances, I want to reiterate what the resurrection meant to John’s community. They understood that on the cross the powers of darkness had done all they could do and even so they did not, could not and cannot prevail against the Light. Ever.
Prayer: Dear God, we thank you for the model of Mary Magdalene, a person of passion, perseverance, and obedience. Develop in us those qualities so that we too may be worthy evangelists, carriers of the good news. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 26 – John 20:19-20 - 19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20After he said this, he showed
them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. The word for evening means just before sunset when vision begins to blur a little. This lets us know the spiritual and emotional state of those gathered. They cannot see clearly. Disciples refers to all the disciples not just the remaining eleven. They are terrified that whatever has happened to Jesus they will now be blamed for it and executed as well. Their fear has closed them off, but it cannot keep Jesus out. When he says, “Peace be with you,” it is a normal greetings. It is a bit like saying, ‘Hi, I’ve got news.’ It implies that something can change as a result of the greeting. It is the same when we greet each other with peace in worship. We are saying to each other, ‘Hi. I’ve got news. You are forgiven and now things can really change.’ Notice that it is his wounds that Jesus offers so that they will recognize him. The root for the word ‘rejoices’ is for the joyful ecstatic greeting that a dog gives a beloved master upon the master’s return.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes our fears close us down completely too. Help us to realize that even when that happens you will not be deterred. You can walk through closed doors of hearts and minds and bring good news of real change. We are so grateful! In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 27 – John 20:21-22 - 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. The word ‘as’ means both ‘in exactly the same way’ and ‘while.’ Jesus is saying to them that they are to go into the world exactly as he did in every way. The ‘while’ refers to resurrected status being completed. He is saying that we go to cross and empty tomb now, not just at the end of life. We go out as those who have died and now live. He then gives the Holy Spirit as the presence and power that allows them and us to live like Jesus in the here and now.
Prayer: Dear God, sometimes it is hard for us to think of ourselves as ‘completed’ creatures. We know we have so much yet to learn, so many depths yet to plumb. Still, you have breathed perfection over us and into us. Help us today to peel away all the things that confuse us about who we are and what our purpose is so that we may live in your glorious peace. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 28 – John 20:23 - 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” The vocabulary of this word is complex and a little strange. The word ‘you’ in the first phrase of this verse is plural and refers to the whole faith community. The word ‘forgive’ means to send away or to send forth. The point is that when forgiveness is offered the offense does not linger to torment a person. ‘Retain’ is rare and means to hold tightly. ‘Sins’ is the word that usually refers to theological failings and not to moral or behavior failings. Remember that to forgive is never to make excuses for something or to say that the thing doesn’t matter. It is always to remedy the wrong so that no further damage is done to the sinner or the victims of the wrong. It is the Spirit’s insight and power that makes this work possible.
Prayer: Dear God, as a church help us to be your instruments in releasing others from the burden of their behavior and blinders that keep them cut off from the fullness of
life and the joy of your presence. Help us with both kindness and clarity to send away that which is death dealing and refuse to cling to that which may sink us or others. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 29 – John 20:24-25 - 24But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “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.” Where was Thomas? Had he gone back to work? Was he at the market? Was he scouting out the situation? We do not know. All we know is that when he returned, he was met with an outlandish tale that he could neither comprehend nor believe. ‘Told him’ is in a tense that indicates continuous action. They are telling him over and over and over. Thomas’ remark is not just skepticism. He gives us a window into a deep truth. Trust in Jesus is personal, and it is rooted in some kind of personal encounter with him. For Thomas, nothing else can be truly trustworthy. After all, he is asking for nothing more than what the others have already experienced.
Prayer: Dear God, awaken us to our own intimate experience of your presence so that we too may trust you will our whole lives. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
June 30 – John 20:26-28 - 26A 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.” 27Then 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.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Once again, we see that Jesus is ready, willing and able to meet our every spiritual need. He comes to Thomas when Thomas is ready. He offers Thomas what Thomas has asked for: the invitation to enter into Jesus’ own wounds with his own body. Did Thomas understand the power and implications of that invitation? I think he did. Otherwise, how could he have declared with such clarity the core of the gospel? All of them, in one way or another, would enter into and experience Jesus’ wounds soon enough. It would take Thomas’ faith to give them the courage they would need to face and to transcend.
Prayer: Dear God, how we need the faith of Thomas! Help us to see you as you are and, by the power of your Spirit, continue your work wholeheartedly and without fear. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.