"NOW APPEARING," John 20: 19--31, Pastor Marvin G. Spence
Often we place our confidence in what we can control, measure, manipulate and rationalize in the natural world. Sometimes we are challenged to place our faith in the unseen (spiritual) when situations in this world cause fear, hurt and reversal of fortunes resisting our abilities to overcome. When Jesus reappeared to the disciples in the locked Upper Room, they were at their lowest point. They were afraid of the religious leaders who crucified Christ; distracted by survival concerns and doubting whether following Christ was the right choice for them. Jesus' appearance before them, in the wounded flesh, affirmed to them that living as a disciple was not in living vain. He was Exhibit A that there was a resurrection and what he promised in John 14 was true. More often than not our faith hinges on proof just like "Doubting Thomas," -- forgetting about His grace and mercy previously extended. Like spiritual infants our attention and memories are short so we seek constant affirmation that the Lord still loves us. We question His commitment when the response to our prayers fail to meet our deadlines. Hiding behind doors of doubt, distraction, discouragement and fear of death, denies us the opportunity to experience what the Lord can do right now if we welcome Him into our lives as Lord, Savior and Shepherd. Listen to the Comforter, Holy Spirit, who is His gift to us until He comes back for us.