One word that could describe modern day life in Australia is transient. Certainly that would be an adequate description of the lives of many in Mackay, mine included.
Growing up I lived in four of six states of Australia. After moving to Brisbane for my early training and work life, I re-trained in Sydney, then moved to Mackay. And there was a five-month stint in England thrown in there too.
In the midst of such a transient lifestyle we can yearn for permanence. To find that spot, that place, that life stage where things are settled, where we are satisfied and can put down roots. Yet ironically, the more desirous we are of permanence, the more illusive it can become. We can chop and change trying to find that settled life, that life that we can be satisfied with, chasing experiences we don’t want to miss out on and we can end up feeling less satisfied and more adrift at the end of it all.
Jesus disciples must certainly have experienced the same ups and downs of a transient life style. Having traipsed around the country side, following Jesus for three years, with many exciting experiences along the way, it all ended with their master dead, and no doubt along with it, their hopes for permanence.
When Jesus did rise and appear to some of the disciples, Thomas was not present. He only heard word that his Lord has risen, and that something permanent had now arrived. And Thomas wasn’t satisfied with mere words. He wanted an experience. To see, to touch, to hold in his hands that permanence.
Jesus in his kindness, met Thomas in his doubts and showed himself. Yet he also told him off for not believing the Word he had received. Because you see, experiences in this life will always be fleeting. If we, like Thomas, want to hold permanence in our hands, we may very well miss out on the only permanence we can actually have – the knowledge that Jesus Christ has died to bring us peace with God, a home with God forever and purpose now, to spread that message.
Why not come along this Easter to hear some more of that Word? Easter Sunday (20th April) 4pm, Fitzgerald State School Hall, Norris Rd, North Mackay.