Gospel of John 20:19-31
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the
doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear
of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be
with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his
side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said
to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I
send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to
them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they
are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are
retained.” 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, I will not believe.”
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 doubt but believe.” Thomas
answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you
believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have
not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other
signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this
book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that
Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing
you may have life in his name.

On Wednesday, April 4 th , we remembered a man with a prophetic voice who
helped light the torch of justice and equality for people of every color and race.
3 hours prior to the time of his death, our Carillon tolled 39 bells and played Lift
Every Voice and Sing.

While there is more work to be done, Martin Luther King, Jr. called this country to
acknowledge the injustice which thrived to give some privilege and others
hardship, depending on the color of their skin.
Dr. King was murdered 50 years ago. He stood for what is right and good and just,
and he paid for it with his life. Yet, because Dr. King was martyred, others are
able to walk the path of freedom. God bless you, Martin.

Jesus stood for what is right, good, just and holy, and he paid for it by sacrificing
his life.
And, because he was crucified, died and has been raised to new life, we, too, have
the assurance that nothing, be it life, death,
or any other external powers,
nothing has the capability of separating us from the love of God through Christ
Jesus our Lord. Thank you, Jesus.

Today our reading from the Gospel of John ‘outs’ one of Jesus’ disciples.
For some unknown reason, Thomas was not with the group of Jesus’ supporters
huddled in that upper-room, somewhere in Jerusalem, on that Sunday late
afternoon – the day Jesus’ tomb was found empty.

Risen Jesus unexpectedly appeared to his loved ones. When he returned to his
friends, Thomas heard the shocking story and saw his friends’ excitement, but he
would not believe it.
He needed to see for himself. He needed to touch the wounds and be touched by
crucified love.
Thomas would not believe, and for this, he is remembered throughout the ages.
But, maybe Thomas wanted more than a story; more than a vision; more than a
desperate and grieving portrayal of a man undaunted by the cruelty of humanity’s
behavior.

The words of Andrew King’s poem entitled
WHAT THOMAS WANTS
(taken from the Gospel of John 20: 19-31)
paints a poignant impression
that I feel is helpful for us today.
“Thomas knows all about crucifixion.
Knows the nails driven into the victim
really tear the flesh,
damage the bones.

And he knows that this
is a crucifying world,
with all its violence,
greed and oppression
still hammering nails into the hands of justice,
still thrusting spears through the ribs of love,
still hanging mercy and kindness to die
and sealing up the tomb.

Thomas knows all about it.
So he knows that any real resurrection
will have to come out of ruin,
will have to come out of suffering,

will have to come out still bearing the scars
inflicted by the unjust world.

Ask him not
if he believes in
merely a God
who is greater than suffering or death;

any God worth the name
would surely prove immortal,
who may be able to pretend our pain
but could never share it in truth.

No, what Thomas wants to see
is the Lord who rises from
death by crucifixion,
who rises
from the worst that our world can do:
who rises
from hells of corruption and cruelty,
who rises
from violence and terror and hate,
who rises
from rape and torture and war,

who rises
from hunger and disease and squalor,
who rises
torn and terribly scarred
yet walking among us still,

who will touch us in
our woundedness,
who will hold us in
our brokenness,
who sees in us
the prints left by the nails,

who will put his own hurt hand upon
our heartache, fear and despair
and breathe his healing peace
into our souls.
This is who Thomas wants to see – the only
Lord he wants to believe in.
Thomas just wants to see
Jesus.”
Copyright ©2016 by Andrew King

Like Thomas, I, too want more; I believe and want to see Jesus. And, maybe you
do as well.
I’m convinced that’s exactly what our world needs. But in reality, it’s now up to
you and me. We are Jesus’ face, hands, and feet. We are the Body of Christ.
It’s up to us to show our scars, to touch with our hurting, healing hands, to breathe
words of peace and hope, to love as we are loved.

Now, it’s up to us, if the world is going to see Jesus.