Why Matter Matters
SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
Prayer of the Day: Almighty God, with joy we celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection. By the grace of Christ among us, enable us to show the power of the resurrection in all that we say and do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25.
Faith seems to be inextricably linked to sensory perception. Thus, the Apostle John’s insistence that the “word of life” he proclaims is one that can be “heard,” “seen” and “touched.” I John 1:1-2. Thomas insists upon seeing and touching the wounds of the resurrected Christ. John 20:25. Mary clings to Jesus for dear life. John 20:17. Even those of us protestants who are most averse to icon kissing, cross adoration and incense burning still maintain that “faith comes from what is heard.” In my own Lutheran tradition, we take seriously the admonition of Psalm 34:8, “taste and see that the Lord is good” by our insistence that the bread and wine of the Eucharist does not merely symbolize or memorialize, but truly “is” the Body and Blood of Christ. So we cannot be too hard on Thomas for expressing that same insistence on sensory perception in Sunday’s gospel. He is really seeking no more than what the rest of the disciples had already experienced and what all disciples seek, namely, to know the fullness of the resurrection.
It is significant, and worth recalling as we enter into this season of Easter, that the church’s hope is not grounded in the immortality of the soul, that is, the belief that some ethereal part of us goes on living after the body has been declared clinically dead. Our hope is grounded not in the power of the soul or any other part of us to survive death, but in God’s power and promise to raise the dead. Read more