Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today’s text

John 20:19-23

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,' and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you. 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.' After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.


They saw you, Jesus. They saw you, and were filled with joy.

Such is the source of our joy. It flows from the spring of having seen you alive and yet wounded, knowing from the wounds that it is you on whom we gaze.

So starts the story of Thomas, Doubting Thomas, who is so badly misunderstood and maligned. All he ever wanted was the same experience you offered to your first frightened followers.

Receiving it, he proclaimed you his Lord and God, no, more: the Lord and God of all that is, on his knees giving his heart wholly to you.

But he needed to see and touch and know.

Still we are told: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe, believing from the testimony of those who did.

And yet, are any of us who believe bereft of seeing? Do we not all need to see … something … of your risen abiding, your fleshly presence, and seeing with eyes informed by faith that you live and transform human souls?

Don’t we have to see your risen life in the wounds of those who given themselves for the sake of the same love that is in you? Without this, can any of us really believe?

And is it not the wounds of those who love you the most convincing witness of all? The wounds of love that eschews physical comfort to love in ways that are real, tangible, touchable … it is this that convinces and convicts the impregnable heart.

And there it is again: our need to see that we may believe that it is your risen wounded love upon which we look.

We need to see it. And you are pleased to give it. So today, may I look on your wounded face in the love of your people and their wounds and know … you live.

This brings me the joy for which I long.

Pr. David L. Miller