Thursday, September 5, 2013
Those not at our church Sunday night missed Pastor’s visual aid of a bride and groom (my daughter and son-in-law) along with a matron of honor, bridesmaid, flower girl, best man and groomsman. No – they were not repeating their marriage vows from years ago. They were the stand-ins for John’s explanation to his disciples as to why Jesus was to increase, and John was to decrease. Before that verse we find:
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. (John 3:29 KJV)
There is but one bride – the church. And one groom - Jesus. That’s John’s message. One of the mysteries of the Bible, and John was trying to explain what we have difficulty understanding.
But that’s not what I have in mind to discuss today. Instead, those who miss a service simply do not know what they are missing. It could be as much as Thomas missed.
It was resurrection morning. Many saw the empty tomb. Some spoke with Him in the morning, most were gathered that evening:
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. (John 20:19-20 KJV)
We don’t know why Thomas wasn’t there. We don’t know what happened that caused him to miss this particular meeting. We just read:
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. (John 20:24 KJV)
Those who met with Jesus told Thomas what happened, but he didn’t believe them.
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. (John 20:25 KJV)
Know someone who feels the same way? One looking for proof? Those at Jesus’ crucifixion cried out for proof, but they didn’t get any. Thomas did:
And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. (John 20:26 KJV)
Jesus offered nail-scarred hands and wounded side as proof, asking Thomas to put his fingers into those wounds. Not necessary, we’re told. Thomas was convinced without having to put his fingers into the prints of the nails nor thrust his hand into His side – he believed.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (John 20:28 KJV)
Those of us with our names on the church rolls as members have professed to believe He is our Lord, our God. Gathering with others to learn, remember, praise and worship need not be confined to Sunday mornings. We never know what we might miss.
(OK, for my church family that reads this - yes, we did miss last night! Wouldn't you know that the very subject on my mind has a personal application? Please know that what I blog most certainly does apply to me. That's why it's on my mind.)