Easter week 2 – John 20:19-31 – Lectionary year B
On the 2nd (of 6!) week of Easter Christians around the world are continuing to reveal in the mystery of Easter – the wonder of the empty tomb. After 6 weeks of preparing and reflecting, as well as an emotional Holy Week, we have 6 weeks to celebrate the hope that we have in our risen Lord.
There is much to be hopeful about in our world today. Incredible medical advances saving lives, expanding education and equality that reach more people across the world faster (thanks internet!), an ever changing global economy, and so much more. As a young person, there is much about the world today that brings me excitement and joy.
Of course, there are also many things that bring incredible sorrow – the wealth gap, inexcusable poverty and diseases of poverty, systematic racism and legalized discrimination, and so much more.
It is our faith in God, that helps us to not ignore the sorrows for the joys, that gives us the strength to rise from the things that hold us down and live lives of hope. It is in the whole incarnation that we see how God continues to enter into the human story. The birth, the life – teachings, healing, and more – as well as the final death and resurrection are all part of the amazing mystery of the incarnation.
Theologians offer a variety of different theories of atonement – some Christians understand this hope to lie in death of Christ, others in the resurrections, still others in the birth or the life of Christ. These next few weeks we have the opportunity to hear again the stories of the risen Jesus among his disciples. This week – of the scared disciples in the upper room without poor Thomas. Hearing their stories, he could not believe it. We find ourselves in the same place as Thomas so often. Unsure of what is “true” – unsure of things we can never know for sure. The world today seems as if it would like to paint all Christians as superstitious drones opposed to modern science and anything not found in the Bible – including other faiths. Yet we know that Christians and their diverse faiths are not like the media portrays. Through our differences we find our mysterious God. It is not easy – yet we know that the lives of people of faith before us weren’t easier either. Together we provide the strength we need to be the people of God in the world – a people of love and a people of service.
The resurrection is about so much more than an empty tomb – and whatever happened in those days. Some words from a wise Native American storyteller give me strength “It may not have happened exactly like this, but it’s true.”
I wish you joy and happiness through this Easter season – and to know that God provides us with a lot of truth, yet very few details on how things have been or what things may come. Faith and community both help provide us together with the strength to accept and celebrate these joys without ignoring the sorrows and coming together to continue to work for the kingdom of heaven on earth.