Last Sunday our morning service was led by a guest preacher, Mr Ian White, our Synod Secretary. Ian and our visitors were warmly welcomed by our steward Rosalind. Ian’s theme for the day was “Discerning Thomas”, well known in the New Testament as a disciple of Jesus who expressed doubts about his resurrection. After his call to worship we heartily sung our opening hymn “Alleluia, alleluia give thanks to the risen Lord”. Neil and Jill Barnett provided our music on the organ and keyboard.

Ian led our prayers of Praise with Easter Praise and confession, with responses, and we said the Lord’s Prayer together. Jill Barnett read our first bible reading from the first letter of Peter, chapter one. This speaks of a living hope in Christ. Neil Barnett read our second, from John’s gospel, chapter 20. Here we read of Jesus appearing with the disciples after his resurrection in the upper room, all except Thomas, and his conversation with Thomas a week later.

Ian led our special prayers for King Charles and his Coronation and for all members of our Royal Family, that God may richly bless them during the Coronation weekend.

“I don’t believe it” were the opening words of Ian’s sermon recalling the phrase used by Victor Meldrew on the famous BBC TV series “One Foot in the Grave”, played by Richard Wilson. Ian developed his theme as he recounted the disbelief of Thomas when he was told that Jesus, who was dead, had appeared before them late one Sunday evening, and spoken with them. Thomas said unless he “saw the scars of the nails in his hands and put my fingers on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe”. Thus when he saw Jesus a week later and Jesus invited him to do just as he had asked and Jesus said stop your doubting and believe, he humbly said “My Lord and my God!” As the Victorian Poet Laureate Lord Tennyson said, “there is more faith in honest doubt than all the creeds”. We are assured by some words of Jesus who said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”.