Compassion or Contempt? – Reflection for the Second Sunday in Easter 2018
I find it interesting to listen to my own voice as I read sections of dialogue in Scripture. What tone and inflection do I use? How fast or slow, loud or soft do I speak? The way in which we read is an interpretation of the text and a reflection of our image of God, our view of ourselves, and an insight into the health of our relationship with God.
I invite you to take a moment to rest in the presence of the Holy Spirit and read aloud our passage today from the 20th chapter John’s gospel. How do you sound when you read the words of Jesus in verses 21-23? How do you feel as you read these words?
Now read Thomas’ words in verse 25. How do you sound? How do you feel as you hear yourself read these words? When have you felt this way before in your relationship with God? How has God responded? As you place yourself in Thomas’s sandals, how do your words reflect your feelings towards your friends? Have you felt this way around your closest friends before? What did you do?
Sit for a moment with Thomas and the other disciples in that locked room eight days later then read the words of Jesus in verses 26-27. How is your voice different from the way you read verses 21-23? How is it the same? Experiment with different tones. How do these words sound if you read with contempt, as I am often tempted to do as I reflect on my own doubts and failures? How do the words sound if you read with tenderness and compassion, as I struggle to do as I reflect on the great love Jesus has for me? Are there other ways you can voice these words?
Say with Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” How do you sound? What mix of emotions are in your voice?
Blessed indeed are we who have not seen and yet have believed! May the peace of Christ be with you.