The Upper Room is to this day, an inconspicuous space along a quiet street in Jerusalem. The windows are hardly noticeable on the first floor next to some dangling electric cables. Jerusalem normally bustles with people, but in these days of lock down it is a quiet and eerie street.
The disciples had returned to the Upper Room in secret, and Jesus was with them for a short time, and showed them his side and feet.But Thomas, was not there and he could not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. When Jesus did return, then Thomas believed. There is much more to this story and it can be found in John 20, verses 19-29.
I am intrigued though with the secrecy of the Upper Room and gathering there without the authorities knowing. In our isolation world at the moment, we have become aware of being fearful, to know that going out is a risk, to know that there may be people watching us. This is so strange and I am reminded this morning from our Sunday readings just how powerful it is to be isolated.
And yet, like Thomas, many of us do go out and do the essentials, the shopping, the daily exercise, maybe a visit at 2 metres distance to a vulnerable person. I delivered a birthday card to Pearl yesterday, aged 88. The notice at the back door said,” Please knock on the lounge window, I would love to see you.” So I did that and we stood 2 metres apart and had a chat. “How good to have a chat!” said Pearl.
We don’t know what Thomas was doing, and sometimes he is perceived as doubting Thomas just because he wasn’t there. He was just being very realistic though.
Maybe he too had just been out for some essentials. Don’t judge him too harshly
Rev’d Sue Martin