It has always troubled me that in some circles, this Sunday after Easter is called “low Sunday.” Don’t misunderstand. I know that the Easter throngs have mostly disappeared, the flowers have been taken home or to the homebound, and the special musicians may not be heard again until Christmas.
The absence of high celebration is not what makes it “low Sunday.” It’s we as Christian leaders and disciples who decide there’s something lacking in those who do not return and the diminished spirit in those who do. Are we so quick to judge, to see the speck in our neighbor’s eye and not the log in our own? (See Matthew 7:3.) It’s we who call him “Doubting Thomas.”
Maybe there are people who have never had a doubt. Introduce me, please, because I’ve yet to meet one. Coming to authentic faith means wrestling with honest doubt. One of my college professors counseled, “Answers divide, questions unite.” That wisdom has served me well.
We do not know why Thomas demanded tactile and tangible proof of the resurrected Christ before he would believe. Perhaps it was simply that he was not in the room when Jesus first appeared to the other disciples. Or perhaps he knew the other disciples too well and questioned their reliability.
What we do know is that this same Thomas proffered courageous loyalty at Lazarus’s death (See John 11:16.) and, encountering the resurrected Christ, declared, “My Lord and my God!” Tradition holds that Thomas evangelized India and died for his faith. Let’s be like Thomas and demand to manipulate the scar. What God then does with us today will be anything but “low”!
Lord of resurrection glory, fill us with boldness in tepid times and in the face of tepid faith so that, living as resurrected people, our lives will witness to your victory over death and despair and to your promise of eternal life. To the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Easter promises us the possibility of new life in Christ, but what should that life look like? Scripture makes clear that one sign of union with God is unity with each other. How wonderful it is, the psalmist says, when there is peace among brothers and sisters. Unity and peace do not mean simply the lack of conflict but proactive care for one another. The Christians in Acts lived out this care in a practical way by giving of their material means to help one another. John in his epistle tells us that this fellowship is ultimately modeled on the fellowship we share with God and Christ, while in his Gospel, John teaches that belief in Jesus the Messiah is what binds us all together in this new life.
Read Acts 4:32-35. In what ways does your Christian community extend generosity to those within and those beyond the community?
Read Psalm 133. How do you experience God’s extravagant love for you? What is your response to this love?
Read 1 John 1:1–2:2. What experience of Christ have you “heard . . . seen . . . looked at . . . touched”? How do you share your experience of the risen Christ with others?
Read John 20:19-31. How do you relate to Thomas’s desire for tangible proof of the Resurrection?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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