Easter 2 A: Thomas, John, and the Reason We Gather

John 20:19-31 Dear Partner in Preaching, Have you ever noticed how long it takes John to get around to telling us what he’s up to? John the Fourth Evangelist, that is. Twenty-some chapters and finally he comes clean. Sort of. So here’s what I mean. There are two elements of this week’s very familiar story – one of the few in Scripture that is read in each cycle of our lectionary – that grabbed my attention. The first is what I’d call the culmination and climax of the “plot dynamic” of John; that is, how John arranges the scenes of the story he tells together and to what end. In short, after introducing us to Jesus...

Easter 2 C: Blessed Doubt

Dear Partner in Preaching, The story of Thomas has always been one of my favorites. Of course, it’s not just a story about Thomas. It’s also a story about frightened disciples. So scared, in fact, that, they hid behind locked doors. And who can blame them? They had just witnessed the one they confessed to be the Messiah betrayed by one of his own, tried and convicted by both religious and civil authorities, and then brutally executed. Little wonder they were afraid, assuming that the next step would be to round up Jesus’ followers. But when Jesus comes on the scene, their fear falls away and is replaced by joy. This, I think, is the...

John 20:26-29

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not...

John 20:24-25

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side,...

John 20:24

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. Where was Thomas? I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone ask that, but I think it’s an important question given what’s about to happen. We likely know just enough of what is coming to remember...