Gospel Lesson: John 20:19-31
An Easter Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter
On that first day, they were gathered together with the doors locked, closed off from the world. And they were afraid. My, how familiar that sounds. As we sit in our homes, closed off from the world, wracked with fear. And in that room, apart from the world, when all seemed lost…Jesus came to them speaking peace.And in our rooms, in our homes, apart from the world, when all seems lost…Jesus comes to us, speaking peace even now.
On the evening of that first day, the disciples had heard the words of Mary Magdalene, “I have seen the Lord!” but they did not believe. They could not believe. They had not seen Jesus with their own eyes. They had not heard Jesus with their own ears. They had not experienced Jesus calling them by name. And they were afraid. Afraid to hope, afraid to dare, afraid to believe. And in that moment, behind closed doors, when all the world seemed lost, when everything loomed large and dark, Jesus came speaking peace. And they saw with their own eyes, and they heard with their own ears, the voice of the one who called them by name. This same Jesus, who had called them from boats and families and life to live new life. This same Jesus, who had been arrested, crucified, and buried. This same Jesus now stood before them speaking peace, and giving comfort, and being Love.
But Thomas was not with them. Now, poor Thomas has gotten a bad reputation throughout history. Doubting Thomas, the one who wouldn’t believe. But let’s be honest, was Thomas really any different from any of the other disciples? Mary didn’t believe until Jesus called her by name. The other 10 didn’t believe Mary until Jesus came to them in the locked room. Thomas was simply seeking to know the resurrection in a physical way…just like everyone else did.
And what about us? We are resurrection people, even though we live behind closed doors right now. We are Easter people, even when it doesn’t feel like it…and boy, it sure doesn’t feel like it. We are Easter people, but it feels like we have been shoved back in the tomb. We are Easter people, but snow and sickness and fear have kept us huddled inside. We are Easter people, and whether we feel it or now, Jesus is here speaking peace, infusing us with Holy Spirit. And like Thomas, we experience this bodily. All around us, Jesus is speaking resurrection into being. We see it, as trees bud and daffodils bloom. We hear it, as birds hasten the dawn and squirrels chatter at the feeders. We know it in our minds and hearts and bodies as waves crash upon the shore, as neighbors tend to one another, as we are called by name, Beloved. We are Easter people, and the promise of the resurrection is present all around us. Let us experience this Easter season with new eyes, with new ears, with new hope. Let us tend to the very reality of resurrection in our midst. Let us live as resurrection people, that all the world might be infused with new life…and bear witness to Jesus’ among us, speaking peace…even in this world. Amen