Holy Week during the COVID-19 virus has been difficult. For safety of others and ourselves, we Christians cannot celebrate His victory over death as we usually have. Passover is also affected in the same way. But because we cannot be together does not prohibit us from worshiping.
As I was riding this morning, the wind blew the many pine trees in our front yard. Riding on the stationary I saw their tops whipping around as pinecones fell. The dogwood next to me showered the ground with bright, white flowers. Their blanketing of the area stirred the memory of the myth I was taught which claimed that the four petals formed the shape of the Cross and the roan color at the end of each symbolized the blood of Jesus. A sweet memory of a harmless myth taught to many children.
That memory of long-past Easters moved me to think of the Twelve, for whatever reason. Riding the stationary, gusts blowing pollen about, I thought of that group of varied men. They carry such importance for Christians, yet we know so little of them. And what we do know, would not be inspiring if we did not know the conclusion of their collected and individual stories. They each, even the traitor, have profiles, which like all profiles, may or may not be accurate.
One, Thomas, is sometimes thought of as being “doubting” because of words he spoke when not present in the Upper Room. Be that as you wish, I like to remember John’s words of Thomas in his Gospel, 11:16. The brother apostle writes: “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him [Jesus].,
Knowing that Jesus faced certain death by walking to Bethany, which was two miles east of Jerusalem, Thomas spoke to the other disciples, telling them that they, and he, should go with their Master to die. William Barclay writes that Thomas’ words show his courage and loyalty, even if he were afraid. That is the Thomas I revere.
By my ride’s conclusion, I realized that we need to be more like Thomas. We all are chosen by God, but we must have the needed courage to follow His path. On this Good Friday during the COVID-19 virus, let us all have the strength of Thomas.