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church:vicars_letters:aug2011mag

August 2011 - Doubting Thomas

Doubting Thomas – the term “doubting Thomas” is still current in our vocabulary two thousand years after it was first used to describe the actions of Saint Thomas – Apostle – who doubted that Jesus had been raised from the dead, after the Resurrection appearance of Our Lord to the other Disciples. Thomas needed firm proof, the words of others was not enough, for him, “seeing is believing”. There is little known of Thomas' life beyond this well known event, however there are two points which are worth bearing in mind as they contradict the doubt for which he is normally remembered.

First of all: Jesus had been forced to leave Jerusalem, in fear of his life; he hears that his friend Lazarus is very ill and decides, to make the journey to visit him, in spite of the danger; the Disciples are frightened for their own safety but Thomas speaks out. He persuades the Disciples to go with him, to accompany Jesus, even if it means that they will all die together. There is no doubt in Thomas' mind…his place is by Jesus side, whatever will befall them. (John 11.16)

Secondly: in the 14th/15th century, when Portuguese traders reached India, they found an active Christian church at Tranvancore and Cochin, called “Mar Thoma” whose followers traced their faith to St Thomas the Apostle. It seems that Thomas had travelled the enormous distance from the Holy Land to South India, a difficult and dangerous journey, to take the story of “Christ”ianity to those people. This was surely an act of great faith and endurance and there can have been no doubt in Thomas' mind when he set out on this pilgrimage.

Quite often we remember one thing about a person when there is always so much more to discover; its often worth taking the time and trouble to find the full story so that the real person can shine out and be remembered properly….just like Thomas, who doubted, only once!

Heavenly Father; give us the patience to look beyond the obvious and find the real story in each person's life. Amen.

Congratulations to Mrs Stone of Shepton Beauchamp, who celebrated her 100th birthday on 12 July 2011.

From the Church Registers

21 JuneSylvia ArmanAshes interred at Dowlish Wake.
25 JuneRoy Hallett-Andrew & Sarah HallettJoined in Holy Matrimony at Shepton Beauchamp.
04 July“Jack” Crate, 88 yearsFuneral Service at Kingstone followed by burial
07 JulyKaren Brooker, Daniel Joy & Zachariah MurphyConfirmed in the Faith by the Bishop of Taunton at Combe St Nicholas.
08 JulyAnna Goddard: 95 yearsFuneral at Shepton Beauchamp (ashes later cremated at Yeovil).
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