It is wise to not believe everything we hear. Always best to be cautious and circumspect. The Apostle Thomas needed more than hearsay about Jesus being raised from the dead. He wanted certainty that such extraordinary news could be trusted. Once he had such certainty, he was absolutely convinced and committed: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
We don’t simply arrive at certainty. We need to want it, and open ourselves to receiving it. Thomas wanted to be certain and so he showed up. He gathered with the other disciples. He put himself into the situation where an appearance of the risen Christ had happened before, and might happen again.
We can be too passive about spirituality. Maybe even too indifferent. Evidence of God may be all around us, but we are not looking for it or expecting it. We see what we have always seen. We miss what we have always missed.
We need someone to tell us that they have “seen the Lord!” We need someone to say “Jesus is risen!” We need someone to invite us to take a second look, and discover for ourselves that “Christ is risen indeed!”
This news is immensely important and it needs our due diligence and attention. It is either the greatest lie of all time, or it is the greatest truth of all ages. It is one or the other. If it is true that Jesus is risen, and death is destroyed, then everything has changed. Our destiny is forever changed. We mortals have become immortal. Suddenly it is not just about life between the cradle and the grave, and getting the most that we can in between the beginning and the ending. It is now raised up: without end. The horizon is eternal, and unfolding for eon after eon. It is timeless. With such an endless view we can slow down, take a breath, recalibrate, acquire wisdom, lighten our grip, open our heart, and live fully.
And there is more. The risen Christ is also the crucified Christ. He is the Incarnate One. He is God enfleshed in the humblest and most vulnerable and fallen humanity: he who was all became nothing. He who was full of majesty and power took on shame and emptiness. Why? Love! We were and are “the apple of God’s eye.” God saw us “down” and God”s love picked us up. This love lets us see our value and preciousness. This love transforms us. It makes us brand new. It empowers us to transform the world.
We can know this God. We can be certain that this God is real. We can be transformed by this God and be empowered to be fully alive here and now and forever.
Will we open ourselves to God? Will we gather with others on Sunday mornings and become convinced of his presence? Will we allow ourselves to be renewed by God in Christ? Will we allow ourselves to become truly human and fully alive in this life and the next? Will we show up and be raised up with Christ? If yes, then a wonderful life is available to us in this world and the next!
+ John, Western Newfoundland