Friday, April 09, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Today’s text

John 20:27-29

Then he spoke to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.' Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him: ‘You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.’


Thomas routinely gets a bad rap, and we get a bad example. Thomas bashing through the centuries has made people ashamed of their questions and doubts. He becomes the deficient disciple, lacking a heart of faith, the perfect illustration of what not to be.

So we squelch our searching questions, our confusion and doubts, hiding them from public view.

What’s missed is that Thomas’ doubts and his demand to see are the royal road to discovery and the joy of real faith.

It is Thomas and no one else who exclaims, “My Lord and my God,” which is the premiere affirmation of all that Jesus is. His words are not shaded in shame or sorrow but explode with the joy of discovering that your fondest hopes have been realized.

I want this joy, my Lord. No, I need it. When I don’t have it I die inside.

And I find it, or should I say it finds me, not in the utter blindness of faith, but when I see something that tells me again that you live. I need to see. We all do. Few of us believe or can believe without seeing something.

Prove that your mother loves you, the skeptic challenges. And we cannot. We can only point to actions, gestures and words that add up to something that suggests that we are or are not cherished.

So we look at the record, at what your disciples did, Jesus, how they witnessed to you, how they lived and died. We listen to their words and look at the lives of those who most closely clung to you, people we knew, people who touched us.

And we are moved to believe that something amazing and utterly incomprehensible occurred, that the life you are came out of that tomb and lives.

As for me, I look at your wounds, the wounds of those whom I know have loved you best. They bore wounds of love for the sake of others, for the sake of so many wounded by life’s great injustices.

I look at them and see you, Jesus. The marks they bear are your wounds, the wounds of love freely and fully given.

Seeing them, I believe. I believe that the immensity of the Love you are … lives, resurrected in lives and places where I may see and believe and say with Thomas, “my Lord and my God.”

Pr. David L. Miller