He is risen indeed, alleluia!
I wonder what you make of the symbol above? I have to confess I only became aware of it at the beginning of our church service last Sunday. Known as an interaband or interrobang, it’s a punctuation mark that consists of an exclamation point and a question mark superimposed on top of one another. It is used to signify the combination of questioning and excitement that could accompany a sentence or even an event.
As such, whilst continuing a sermon series studying Jesus’ resurrection appearances, this symbol seemed the most appropriate to summarise the feelings and situation Thomas found himself in. Having head from his fellow disciples that they had seen Jesus when he wasn’t present, he himself had to live with the combination of doubt and excitement, and needed Jesus himself to reach out him, answering the questions, and confirming the possible joy. As featured in one of our prayer stations, it was a direct response to the cry: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief", uttered elsewhere in the gospels, and we can take heart that here as elsewhere, Jesus seeks to meet us wherever we are, and then lead us on. In Thomas’ case, this brief wobble was followed by years of faithful service, and indeed tradition holds him as bringing the gospel to India, where the Mar Toma (literally named after Thomas) Christians of Kerala, hold him in high regard.
Indeed I believe the interrobang may be appropriate to us as a church community too. For with our Refurb project, we find ourselves in daunting and yet exciting territory. Yes we may indeed have questions as to how we might raise the money required, and have uncertainty as to the journey ahead, but also have the sense of excitement of stepping out in faith to work towards something amazing. This particular journey is also going to require prayer as we look to God to guide our steps. It was a special gathering last Sunday evening, and we look forward to holding more regularly further times of prayer and worship.
In the meantime, and throughout the rest of the week, may God bless us, as individuals and as a community, in the various interrobangs we encounter.