Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Thomas and I are sorta like Twins: A reflection for this Holiday celebrating Freedom and LIberation!

I love this Gospel reading about "the doubting Thomas" and just had to post it as a way to celebrate my own understanding of "Freedom and Liberation" this 4th of July week.

How stuck and trapped are we, if we must have PROOF and EVIDENCE of the "TRUTH" at all times?!

(Please, friends: know I write this question from my own prison of anger, frustration, and recently identified rage against my own incomplete knowledge and understanding of God!)

Check out the disciple Thomas here in the Gospel of John. He's heard this tale from his friends about Jesus walking around after the guy died. And what's he do? He asks for proof! Who wouldn't question this life-after-death-tale, right?

"Umm, excuse me, people, but I was there when they laid him in the tomb. Dead man for sure. No breathing happening. And yeah, that rock rolled out of the way and his body was gone a couple days later, but what's that? More drama as far as I'm concerned. I love Jesus because He taught me a lot of good stuff.... Shoot, I feel like my love for my family and friends has changed for the better. And those random guys on the corner, the beggar and the leper and tax collector, I am even having love for them these days. Plus, I quit feeling so judgmental about prostitutes. But: this business of Jesus walking around AFTER HE DIED? Come on! Let's draw the sanity line someplace, PLEASE!"
I get where Thomas is coming from. I can even imagine us throwing back a couple of beers, watching the fireworks tomorrow night, and having ourselves a good laugh about this notion of resurrection.
"Jesus walking around?! How ludicrous! Those other disciples must have been smoking some serious crack to think that they saw Jesus after that bloody death of His!"
But the story doesn't go like this. Because Thomas lived back then. And Thomas said he needed proof. And Christ showed up, as the story goes, and let this doubting disciple touch His resurrected body, let our guy Tommy put his fingers into those wounds.

Yowza! And there are some serious fireworks! Yeah....For me: the red, white, blue, purple, orange, green explosions I get the biggest bang out of: are these sorts of stories happening NOW! Liberation flowing from a reconciliation of our own doubts, our own fears, our own struggles, our own worries of God, the Divine in our midst.

I'm belly deep in these contemplations of late, wrestling with my own anger and doubt of God's existence, wanting proof already of His Love and Passion! And here is this great little story from back in the day, that is a sweet balm, blessing to my wandering, wanting spirit.

I Love Thomas! I am thankful for this tale and his utter humanity and that this got included in the bible.


Jn 20:24-29

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord."
But Thomas said to them,
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe."
Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

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