The Need for Personal Experience John 20:19-31, Easter 2 “I won’t believe unless I see and touch,” says Thomas and the sceptics of today. No insight counts as real, no vision stirs: without the proof of facts, they turn away. Like Thomas, are they blinded by despair, and choose to grieve apart while others meet? Though friends say how they’ve seen the Risen Lord, no word he hears shifts Thomas from defeat; and yet perhaps he can’t resist the hope that what he doubts he yet may touch and see, and when those wounded hands reach out to him, he has no need to grasp what sets him free: his doubt is set aside in joyous prayer. God, let the sceptics see and touch him there. Wounds First version 14/7/2016, revised version 7/04/2021; John 20:19-31 Easter 2 So even in new life the wounds remain; for suffering shapes the truth of who we are. Reach out and touch the evidence of pain: the tracks of nail and spear may seem to mar his resurrected body, but they show perfection is no longer proof of worth; and though our souls are blind, our insight slow, reluctant to accept the signs of birth, he comes to us through walls and locks and cries: “If you still doubt, reach out and touch my hands!” In blood and body we may recognize he shares our wounds and always understands. In broken bread we dare to touch his pain. In wine poured out, we see forgiveness plain.