Let's go... sightseeing
Prayers for Eastertide #3 & #4
There’s nothing quite like seeing something with your own eyes to really understand what’s going on. We use our vision as a detector of truth. To see something helps us process and understand it’s real.
The weather forecast might say it’s going to rain so we look out the window to check before hanging out the washing.
Our neighbour tells us that a tree has fallen in the park so we go wallking that way to have a look ourselves.
There’s report’s of a nose to tail on the other side of the motorway so as we drive past we crane our necks to catch a glimpse of the incident.
We rush to see what’s wrong when our partner calls out from the kitchen to say that there’s something wrong with the oven and the dinner’s not cooking properly.
Of course, sometimes we can’t see something in person. We’re not in the right place at the time of the event or happening. Technology today gives us other ways to view and see for ourselves.
A picture they say, tells a thousand words.
A postcard sent from travelling friends gives us a small visual glimpse of what they’re seeing on their travels.
We sit in front of a rectangle to view the latest news from around the world, our favourite sports team playing live.
We scroll through our phones, clicking on images that catch our eye and reading the accompanying text.
We take photos to record moments in time. We share photos with our nearest and dearest, giving them access to a precious moment they might have missed in person.
We go to an observatory to stare through telescopes at the moon and stars, seeing details that we’d miss with our own eyes.
And yet, even if we see a picture, there’s nothing quite like seeing something with our own eyes. There’s a shift within us. Seeing for ourselves makes something more concrete and real. As we drove through Esk Valley a couple of weeks ago, we saw the same sights we’d seen on our television news, yet seeing it in person was something else. You’ll be able to remember moments in your own lives where you’ve witnessed something big or important. The visual imagery is seared into your memory.
In many ways we take the detecting ability of our vision for granted. We navigate daily life using our senses, often without realising just how much we rely on them for guiding us into making choices and decisions. From the smallest, inconsequential actions in our days to the extraordinary and momentous, our vision takes us on a sight-seeing journey that shapes our lives.
The disciples were afraid of the Jewish leaders, and on the evening of that same Sunday they locked themselves in a room. Suddenly, Jesus appeared in the middle of the group. He greeted them and showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they became very happy.
After Jesus had greeted them again, he said, “I am sending you, just as the Father has sent me.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they will be forgiven. But if you don't forgive their sins, they will not be forgiven.”
Although Thomas the Twin was one of the twelve disciples, he wasn't with the others when Jesus appeared to them. So they told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But Thomas said, “First, I must see the nail scars in his hands and touch them with my finger. I must put my hand where the spear went into his side. I won't believe unless I do this!”
John 20:19-25 (CEV)
When Jesus’ disciple Thomas was struggling to believe that Jesus had been resurrected, he needed to see Jesus in person. Then he believed. He’s known to many as ‘Doubting Thomas’. Thomas is very relatable. We all have our Thomas moments, both as regards our faith and our daily living. It’s just not always possible to take something on face value. Sometimes we need to see something to believe it.
A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!”
Thomas replied, “You are my Lord and my God!”
Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!”
John 20:26-29 (CEV)
This week’s prayer room is a bumper issue. I have been struggling with some health things and lacking energy. Nothing serious - just the usual path of things not always going right all of the time. So apologies that I didn’t get out a Virtual Prayer Room last week. Instead I’ve doubled the number of prayers for you this week.
I’ve called this week “Let’s go… Sightseeing”. Some of the prayers are sightseeing in a travelling kind of way, while others invite us to open our eyes and pay attention. We use our vision intentionally and prayerfully. As you go through the next few days, I encourage you to allow your vision to guide you in a constant conversation with God.
On the journey
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