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 Ah the famous Doubting Thomas.  What a name to be saddled with eh?  Do we call Peter…Peter the denier because he denied Christ 3 times?  Or James, sleepy head cause he fell asleep in the garden, no. Yet, we have doubting Thomas. It’s likely because the average person recalls very little about Thomas, the first three gospels say absolutely nothing at all about him. It’s only in John's Gospel that we find out about Thomas, but even there, there are only 155 words about him. Such a small amount, yet he has formed such a strong presence in our imaginations, and has been landed with an eternal and somewhat dubious nick name.   And not even the most accurate of nick names at that. What we remember out of those 155 words in the Gospel of John is very narrow indeed.  For instance, how many recall that when Jesus turned his face toward Jerusalem and the disciples thought that it would be certain death for all of them. It was Thomas who said: “let us go to Jerusalem as well, so that we may die with him”. It was Thomas who came forward with strong belief when others were doubting and questioning...yet we don't remember him for that. It is simply the nickname that has stuck.  One very reasonable moment when Thomas didn’t believed that the crucified Christ was not actually dead, as generally happens when you are crucified and poor Thomas has been forever labelled.  Yet, to have volunteered to go to death with Christ proved that Thomas had a lot faith and love. We also forget that in this story of Thomas' doubt we have the one place in the all the Gospels where the Divinity of Christ is bluntly and unequivocally stated.  And I find it interesting, that the story that gives Thomas his infamous nickname, is the same story that has Thomas making an earth shattering confession of faith. A confession that is uttered nowhere else….”My Lord, and my God." Not teacher. Not simply Lord and Not even Messiah. But God!   These are certainly not the words of a doubter. Besides, It isn’t like all the other disciples didn’t experience their doubts.  At the beginning of our gospel reading we find the disciples (all of them save Thomas) cowering behind locked doors.  When Jesus appeared, he had to greet them twice, show them the wounds in his hands and side before they rejoiced in Christ’s resurrection.  Only then did they received the Holy Spirit.  Thomas asked for nothing less than what the others had been given, no more proof than what had already been received in that community of disciples.  Yet, it is Thomas we single out.  Thomas who happened to be absent that one time.  Which is interesting because it is only when Thomas is reunited with the disciples that he is able to experience the resurrected Christ, to receive the Holy Spirit and to make his confession. Not unlike when we come together in baptism.  We come together today, as a community to (finally) baptise Ivy, to make our statements of faith, to recognise Christ resurrected in her this day.  It is fundamental to note that it is in community that Thomas and the disciples are able to gain the strength and courage they need to overcome their fears, their insecurities and their doubts to become the foundational missionaries of the Christian faith.     We read in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, that the disciples who at first cowered in fear behind locked doors, gained strength enough to preach the crucified Christ.  Not only to the faithful and familiar, but to all and sundry, to great crowds and important leaders.  Each of the disciples were changed by their encounter with the risen Christ, from fear to faith, from doubt to faith, from nothing to everything.  Thomas included. But what about us?  Christ said blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe.   The story of Thomas and his encounter with the risen Christ was recorded for those who came after, those who would likely not have a physical encounter with Chirst.  It is for us, and to bolster our faith that the gospels were recorded. As we read our gospel today we recall that we too experience our own doubts and we remember Thomas and how the Lord embraced his faith where he was.  That Christ did not rebuke or reject Thomas.   He did not accuse him of a lack of faith, nor did Christ chastise Thomas for his desire for proof.  Christ simply provided what Thomas needed.  ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’  It is a beautiful, if somewhat gory picture.  There is something inherently child-like about this scene that I love; the desire to touch, to interact, to physically find the proof is absolutely lovely.  It is a gift to have that desire and proof enshrined in gospel, to give us proof that there is nothing wrong in questioning and exploring your faith. Some years from now I can imagine Ivy having these same questions, desires, need for proof.  Children interact with the world tactually, just as Thomas does.  To understand something a child will use all their senses not simply their reason or intellect.  They don’t want to analyse, they want to experience.             That is one of the gifts Thomas gives us, this day in particular.  Permission to truly question and explore our faith.  We who have not seen and yet believe.  We are given permission to ask for proofs, to desire to touch and see and interact with faithful and childlike curiosity. Remember Jesus words in Matthew “unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (matt 18:3). I think we adults forget that at times.  Today Ivy reminds us of this, just as Thomas does.  ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’  Jesus wants us to experience our faith, to interact and participate in our faith.  So, today, as we baptise Ivy we will do just that.  We have heard and discussed the scripture, we will see and hear the water poured, she will feel the water and oil and see the flame of Christ’s light.  We will taste the bread and experience the blessings of Christ. We will be surrounded by community, by music, by prayer and by joy. Ours is an interactive and experiential faith.  One that embraces all our senses and Thomas, is the perfect example of how to live that out. I pray that God blesses Ivy, that as she grows she may have a faith like Thomas, and I pray that God blesses each of us as we relive our baptisms this day, That we may embrace our doubts and as become as Childlike and curious in faith as we can possibly be.