I was away a few days last week and when I came back to New Hampshire, the male goldfinches had started to turn color. Perching in the sugar maple between zips to the feeder, their newly golden forms flashed like living, breathing photons.

They are glorious little creatures, bright and shiny, full of new life — each one a perfect sign of spring, of Easter, of resurrection.

And then it snowed. The temperature dropped to 12 degrees. Ponds froze up again. Winter returned. The finches’ gold again muted as courtships were shelved. Spring stopped.

It was so fitting that just as the cold blast arrived, we came to the story of doubting Thomas who declares that he won’t believe in Jesus’s resurrection unless he can see the marks of the nails in his hands and put his fingers in the wound. “If my senses can’t verify it,” he suggests, “I won’t believe it.”

If we read the text closely, though, there is no indication that Thomas actually touches Jesus. Jesus appears in a closed room, unconstrained by walls and doors. He is simply there. And, somehow, Thomas knows himself to be in that presence.

This has led me to consider several questions for reflection in this post-resurrection season.

Where do we (you) encounter the presence of Christ (which we know is within and around all things)?

How can we know we are in that presence?

How can we become more aware of being in that presence?

What happens to us when we are in that presence?

What happens to the world around us when we are in that presence?

Like goldfinches in the spring, being in the presence of Christ fills us with light. I pray that in that light we, too, may be beacons of love, hope, and caritas.

— Rev. Steve Blackmer