I say that somewhat jokingly because even though Thomas shows up in the lectionary every. single. year. on the second Sunday of Easter. I believe I have preached from his story exactly once. Even as an associate pastor I think I dodged this one most of the time. Our annual youth Sunday was usually the week after Easter, and after we moved that it turned into Confirmation Sunday. I usually let the kids pick my text for that one, or at least give me a few suggestions.
Anyway! So here we are at Thomas Sunday AGAIN, and I'm looking for God's word for us this time around. I looked up my last one, and I still like it which is not that helpful. It's only been two years, and although I'm certain no one else will remember it, I would feel bad pulling from the bag again already. So, here it goes.
Right now I'm thinking about the role of the church in a world of Thomases, not so much doubting Thomases, but questioning Thomases, Thomases who just haven't seen any proof yet. We can't blame Thomas for wanting the good fortune of the same experience the others had of Jesus. I bet any one of them would have asked for the same proof, the same evidence of Jesus' resurrection that he asked for. I mean, it was a pretty unbelievable thing.
The book review and discussion of UnChristian at RevGals yesterday and my own reading around in some of John Shelby Spong's and Marcus Borg's stuff (surprising all three of these have led me to a united thought) have got me thinking about all the folks who question the church, who are looking for some proof about the claims we make, the things we say are true.
I think that's where I'm going with Thomas this year. So he's asking his questions, so good. He should ask them. People all around us are asking their questions, too. If Christians are the body of Christ, where is the proof? What are we doing that shows our love for Jesus, his love for the world? What do our hands look like? I'm not looking for marks of crucifixion here, but marks or signs that we're doing what he did, working for the peace he says he brings.
Watch out, folks, this could get preachy, especially with less time than usual (communion and ordination/installation of officers), but I like the general track I'm on. Maybe I'm even far enough along that I'll be able to write on my writing day tomorrow!