The First Church Council Meeting
Gathered. Gathered together in the gathering darkness. Gathered together, individually isolated, mourning the death of their unifying purpose.
Afraid. Gathered together behind locked-doors. Hiding. Hiding from occupying troops, religious strongmen, spies, friends, family, themselves... Hiding in a close and shuttered room filled with the rank musk of fear-sweat. Gathered and separated by despair.
He was there? He was there! In their midst. In their gathering - gathered with them. He was alive? He was alive!
"As I was sent by Abba, I send you."
Purpose again? Purpose again! In a tightly shuttered musty room - fresh air. He was alive? He was breathing! He breathed upon the gathered ones.
"Inhale the Holy Spirit."
Purpose again! A mission granted. A mission taken up. Those who abandoned him were forgiven. Those who were forgiven were sent out to forgive.
But one was not there in the room. One was not breathed upon. One did not inhale. The others tried to explain, but they did not yet know how to explain the unexplainable. He would not believe without proof. He could not believe without something more.
A week passed. Again they gathered behind lock and key. Gathered to worship. Gathered together. All together, in anticipation and hope.
"Use your fingers to see. Touch my reality."
"Enter into me - put aside your fear and doubt."
Thomas looked, and touched, and probed. "My Lord? O my God!"
"You each believe because you have seen. But, what of those who have not seen? Blessed shall be they who have not seen, and yet believe regardless."
From John 20:19-29
(photography by tiwago)