While searching for something to watch on TV last night, I came across on Netflix “A. D. Kingdom and Empire,” which is the third part of the series which begins with “The Bible” and continues with “A.D. The Bible Continues.”
I’d seen only the first, which runs like a documentary with vignettes for some of the stories (so I was expecting the same sort of presentation.) But it is instead, one big episode, in this case starting at the trial of Christ. And it’s a season series instead of an n-day event.
In season one episode 3 (s1e3), Christ rises and first appears to Mary M. Mary runs to the other disciples and tells them. They disbelieve. Jesus shows up. They believe.
Thomas comes in, Jesus is not there. He states in response to the others telling him Christ is alive, that until and unless he sees and touches, he won’t believe. Jesus shows up again…
So I ask myself, do I believe like Thomas?
I remember those early days when I first experienced, with passion and absolute belief, the miraculous just like Thomas does at that moment. (And I stress ‘experience,’ for a reason…)
Today, I find that initial zeal has cooled (to be expected, I suppose).
Today, my questioning mind tells me that there has never been anything “unearthly” (that is, not possible in this reality under these laws of nature) in any of my spiritual experiences. I find that they can be beaten down by the ever-growing seeds of doubt into secular “coincidences…”
“Thomas you believe because you have seen.
Blessed are those who have NOT seen and yet believe.”
But the thing is, there’s this element of perfect timing.
I HAVE seen things which happened despite lottery-winning-odds against them at exactly the right moment. Many things. Too many things to not believe. And I’ve heard from others about too many similar occurrences.
So, in effect, I have seen and therefore can believe.
But not until I run through this whole thought process.
The difference is that the first time was an experience, not something I decided upon. It kind of happened to me. I find these days I have to choose to RE-believe, remembering, for example, those early days. I have to take the action.
In other words, faith has become more of a conscious effort than a reaction to the completely unexpected but very welcome. I believe we all reach this point at some time in our spiritual walk. It’s a crossroads because it would be easy to follow those rationalizations and chalk everything up to coincidence and turn away…
So, do I believe like Thomas?
The AMP version of John 20:29 follows “blessed” with the describers of ‘happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God.’ Certainly these are terms to which I can relate in a worldly way, especially happy and favored by God.
But ‘spiritually secure?’ Secure? To the point of never having to worry about it again? What, in this life, gives that assurance?
Let’s take winning the lottery. Instant financial security – but I would hope that I take wise action every day that follows. Maybe I would wake up every morning and have to check my accounts, just to make sure it hadn’t been a dream.
Salvation is like that.