Spirit & Life

In The Space Between Us

John 20:19-29
It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”
Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”

Please don’t give Thomas a hard time! We all have our ways of processing and accepting, of grieving and overcoming fears, whether they are unfounded or very real. God’s great gift to us all, is our unique place in the whole people of God. It is depicted so well here. Frightened and shocked people, who have left their families, livelihood and villages, have travelled with, listened to and learned from, Jesus. He had literally upended their world, their cultural practices, their beliefs and personal faith understanding, and brought into focus a new faith-filled Way of living. The threat from the Jewish authorities was very real, with consequences to life and soul, as they had just witnessed. They were linked not only by their new faith choices, but also by fear and isolation, confusion and deep grief. Thomas’ focus on the ‘here and now’ is completely understandable.
In the space between them, they found Jesus.
His peace settled in them as they breathed in God’s Spirit. They received peace as they accepted God’s love and forgiveness. Jesus specifically addresses Thomas’ concerns so that he, too, may also understand what is beyond moment, time and circumstance. Sometimes, we all need to focus on the space between us to be revealed, and so, together with the whole people of God, glimpse, with greater clarity, God’s truth, peace and love.

Prayer – In The Space Between Us
Help us, Jesus,
when we are frightened to believe,
when your presence seems untouchable, unknowable, implausible;
For grief floods over us, seeps into our joy and muddies our thinking and relationships.
For in the space between us, we see you
Drawing us together,
Holding us in peace,
Making tenuous connections develop into rich friendships through you.
Thomas reminds us
that our fears often fog our seeing and understanding;
shock and trauma has a way of changing our reality and what is true;
Misunderstanding can change our world view.
So, in the space between us, we need you
Drawing us together,
Holding us in peace,
Making tenuous connections develop into rich friendships through you.
May we continue to be your people, who seek your peace in the space between us.
Anne Hewitt

Psalm 16 – A Prayer For Us All…
Protect me, O God; I trust in you for safety. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
all the good things I have come from you.”
How excellent are the Lord’s faithful people! My greatest pleasure is to be with them.
Those who rush to other gods bring many troubles on themselves I will not take part in their sacrifices; I will not worship their gods.
You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands. How wonderful are your gifts to me; how good they are!
I praise the Lord, because he guides me,
and in the night my conscience warns me. I am always aware of the Lord’s presence; God is near, and nothing can shake me.
And so I am thankful and glad and I feel completely secure, because you protect me from the power of death. I have served you faithfully, and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead.
You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever.

© Rev Anne Hewitt 12/04/2023
This reflection & prayers may be shared as long as the original writer is credited.

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Kilkenny, 5009

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Rev Anne Hewitt
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We pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging across the many Nations of this Country.