Easter Thursday, April 4, 2013 – John 20:24-29
My Lord and my God!
Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.
The loveliness of Thomas is that he is passionate; he leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind what is required to bring him to the conclusion that Jesus is risen. We might see ourselves or someone we well know in this story today. We may even be Thomas ourselves.
A week has passed since the incredible event at the garden tomb; so many rumors fill the Jerusalem air that it is impossible to sort through them. The disciples are again inside, we are told, and this time Thomas is with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you”.
Again the stunned surprise as the disciples look to one another to see who still stands in doubt. It is likely that Thomas is not the only follower of the Teacher who needs convincing of the mysterious truth that Jesus is no ghost but a man, scarred by his crucifix experience, but still . . . a full, living, breathing, resurrected man. Not resuscitated as was Lazarus, but risen. The disciples in the Upper Room struggle once more to gain the peace Jesus so easily grants them. All eyes move back to Jesus, who holds out his hands palms upward as he says to Thomas, Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it in my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.
Thomas’ response is five brief words that contain the theology by which he will live out the remainder of his days – a theology by which we too might easily live our entire lives . . . if we might only see and believe: My Lord and my God!
We might wonder what words erupted from the other disciples who may have chided Thomas for his lack of belief. We might imagine that there was a new solemnity in the air as these friends struggled to find new footing in this new place of total faith. Or we might as easily believe that they fell into conversation just as they had so often done before this last Passover. John does not record any detail but what we can see is Thomas’ unrelenting passion. As strongly as he insisted on seeing evidence before committing himself to this incredible belief . . . he now as strongly validates the mystery standing before them. My Lord and my God!
And so we pray . . .
Good and forgiving God, visit with us this day and each day in such a way that we cannot deny you: My Lord and my God!
Good and patient God, remain with us through our days of doubt and our nights of fear in such a way that we will always praise you: My Lord and my God!
Good and loving God, guide us in our times of trial and our times of rejoicing in such a way that we will always love you: My Lord and my God!
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Tomorrow, the road to Emmaus . . .