We can pray in all sorts of different ways

Worshippers enjoying last year's festival
Worshippers enjoying last year's festival
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Because our church in Elson is named after St Thomas the Apostle, we’ll be celebrating the day dedicated to St Thomas in the church calendar.

We’re preparing for what we call our Patronal Festival this Sunday.

It happens in St Thomas’s Church on Elson Road from 6pm, after which we’ll have a parish party.

And you are all welcome to come.

You may remember that Thomas was one of the 12 disciples and has become famous because he couldn’t quite believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he saw it with his own eyes.

He has gone down in history as Doubting Thomas, a name given to him because he struggled to believe something for one short week until Jesus appeared to him in person.

Yet that name has stuck with him for 2,000 years.

At times our own Christian journey will feel as if it is in a desert or darkness and, like Thomas, we may need to keep worshipping and praying until things make sense again.

In that sense, Thomas is faithful.

But actually, Thomas’s doubt and difficulty leads him into deeper faith and into a new understanding of who Jesus is.

Sometimes it is the times of not knowing that are the most fruitful times as we move on into fuller understanding.

Sometimes we have to let go in order to move on in faith – that can be true of many areas of our Christian lives, both as individuals and communities.

Perhaps it’s a comfort to know that a close disciple of Jesus doubted so persistently, but Thomas didn’t remain stuck in disbelief.

We need to remember that Doubting Thomas very quickly became Believing Thomas because that might help us to make the same kind of journey and dare to believe that Jesus is risen.

Being sure of his resurrection changes us and our lives.

A life lived in the light of the resurrection is a new and exciting life to be lived in all its fullness.

Just like Thomas, we can experience the risen Christ alongside us saying, ‘May peace be with you,’ and just like Thomas, we can respond by saying, ‘My Lord and my God’.

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