Easter 2 – John 20:19-31 - Thomas
Good morning dear people …..
God is good. All the time.
READ THE GOSPEL…John 20: 19-31
The disciples were gathered in a room by themselves apart from others out of fear. What is going to happen now? Will things ever be normal again – they wonder.
We, too, are gathered with those same feelings, gathered with those we live with, apart from others. We too have fear and are wondering will things ever be normal again?
The answer - for the disciples and for us is – NO.
Life will never be normal again; not the way we knew it……or they knew it.
The disciples were radically changed. We, too, might be radically changed when the virus is over. How? We might enjoy driving less………we might enjoy being home more. We might enjoy slowing down and having meals together as a family ………we might actually enjoy something basic - like talking to each. One woman from our church said to me ‘my husband and I are talking more and sharing more – and probably enjoying each other more…… actually it’s kind of peaceful.” Yes we might enjoy the peace of not running in many directions at once.
Something powerful happened to the disciples.
While they were grieving and fearful Jesus appears thru a locked door and shows them his hands and side so they would recognize him. They must have been shocked.
Perhaps they remembered Jesus’ words to Nicodemus “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Emphasis on the word SO = God so loved the world. Perhaps they began to see the “so” of God’s love. But they had seen it before when they were with him.
They had seen:
The man born blind was touched and healed and loved.
The 10 lepers were touched and healed and loved.
The woman bleeding for 12 years was touched and healed and loved.
The Samaritan lying in a ditch in the road was touched and healed and loved.
The bent over woman was touched and healed and loved.
The man with the withered hand was touched and healed and loved.
The mute man was touched and healed and loved.
The woman at the well in Samaria was touched and healed and loved.
And the list goes on. And in all these healings Jesus was not only healing. He was gathering all these wounded people who had been thrown to the margins of society for one reason or another - gathering them back into their community.
Here is Thomas – beautiful Thomas ….. not doubting Thomas – passionate Thomas,
sensitive Thomas, caring Thomas, beside himself Thomas AND……. Thomas the realist. He wanted to see for himself. He might have said to the others “You say you’ve seen Jesus. I WANT TO SEE HIM TOO. Unless I see and touch him I can’t believe.”
Jesus answers him “dear Thomas put your finger in my hands and put your hand in my side …. Don’t be doubtful. Believe.”
Picture it. Picture the pathos, the passion, the love, the friendship – the heart
Between these two – God and man.
What is the name of that painting in Sistine Chapel?
God and man are touching tips of fingers.
That’s what God was doing in Jesus Christ. God in us and we in God ……
Creator, Redeemer, Holy Spirit and us (the Holy Quartet) – in a never ending ongoing cycle/circle of love. The whole world is alive with God’s love.
For God so loved the world – remember that little word “so”. It matters.
After Thomas puts his fingers in his hands and his hand in his side…what does he say….. My Lord and my god.
No life then or ever would be the same. That’s why the life of Christ divides time, for all people – BC before him …..AD after him. All people worldwide divide time by the life of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps no life will be the same after coronavirus – even if the only thing that changes is that we are more careful , more sensitive, more respectful of each other, more vulnerable and a little more humble, more appreciative of every day: maybe a little less greedy or speedy or needy.
Last week the angels tells the 2 Mary’s “he is alive and he is going before you to Galilee. Go tell the disciples they will see him there.” They went and told. That was the beginning of the church.
I will close by telling you my story of experiencing Jesus resurrection. My “go and tell”. I’d love to hear yours.
“THANKS BE TO GOD WHO GIVETH US THE VICTORY THRU OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.’ Amen.
My story of “go and tell”.
It was the week after Easter 2014. I was at home deeply grieving my son whose funeral and burial were a monthly earlier. I was crying and calling out loud to him; at the top of my voice – almost yelling “Where did you go Eddie? Why did you leave us? Where are you dear son? Where are you son? Where are you now? At exactly that moment the front door blew open with a bang. I looked to the left and saw a sign I had put up years ago that said “HEAVEN”. I took that as Eddie’s answer, or our Lord’s answer. Or both. There is indeed everlasting life.