A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” ~John 20: 26-27
We are in the Easter season. The season of the Resurrection. All around us there is new life. New life sprouting from trees and shrubs. Tulips easing their way out the moist cold earth. The arrival of geese from their Southern homes. The melody of the frogs as they sing from the melted ponds. We find ourselves with longer daylight coupled with the warm sun kissing our cheeks.
At the same time, we are still in a pandemic and navigating how to live in the world. Still moving through the trial of Derek Chauvin. Still wondering about children at our borders. Still wanting civil discourse. Still wanting more to turnover. To be different. Singing “Alleluia”, “Praise the Lord” does not always fit.
The Easter story and the days following speak to this uncertainty. Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, missed out on the first visit from Jesus. Not sure where he was, he just wasn’t there.
Realizing he missed out seeing his beloved teacher, Thomas claims his right to his own visitation. He is adamant. “I don’t just want to see him, I want to touch him”.
Dr. Karoline Lewis from Luther Seminary describes Thomas’ thoughts in this way,
“I just need to be with you Jesus. To touch you, feel you, see you, hear you, taste you. One more time. I need to feel that abiding peace again, I need to feel that way, again. One more time.”
Thomas asks to experience the resurrected Jesus. To see the manifestation of the resurrection. Thomas wants to be grounded again. If Jesus is alive, he needs this peace Christ promised before he died. Thomas demands it.
In his asking, Thomas helps us to do the same.
I know I am thankful for Thomas. Knowing when there is much to be celebrated, I can still feel uncertain. In this uncertainty I can ask for God’s revelation of new life to be made known. The breath given to the disciples moves into the world even now. In this stirring that is the Spirit, God’s presence is known bringing death to life, despair to hope, improbability to probability. Hate to Love.
Happy Easter! He is Risen. He is Risen, indeed!