Monday, April 09, 2007

Second Sunday of Easter – B

Second Sunday of Easter – B

Years B
Acts 4:32-35
Psalm 133
1 John 1:1-2:2
John 20:19-31

"Now the whole group" - "when kindred live together" - "that you also will have fellowship with us". These phrases set a tone of what it means to be joined in joy.

A test comes someone is not part of our gathering when a very specific and important event happens. Regardless of the reason they are not present, they are not present. In their absence comes a revelation that could very well drive a wedge between the true experiencers and those without that experience. And so Thomas' story is an important witness of continued openness. Thomas was still welcome even without a corroborating experience. Fortunately he received one. That helps a lot in binding a community together. But, and this is significant, unanimity is not foundational to community.

The downside is that there are expectations set up that folks will be required to come to believe in the same dramatic way as did those who experienced a risen Christ Jesus in this cell. We, to this day, separate folks out according to their experience of faith and their differences from the majority or the powerful. If they measure up, they're welcome. So Thomas' story is used to convince people that they cannot be different (doubt) because that would bar them from fellowship in an already together group.

Thomas is laughed at rather than revealing how laughable are our restrictive standards.

Remember that Thomas was with those who had already experienced a resurrection. Use this as an inclusive evangelistic witness for inviting "others" to be present. This will offset the temptation to have the un-experienced set aside until they measure up. If a community is not focused on key words in the opening phrases: "whole", "live", and "also" it has learned the smaller lesson and missed the larger.

= = = = = = =

revelation is not theory
it is experience-able
with eye and hand
with kindred and enemies
with ancestors and descendants
with light and dark
with male and female
with all orientations
with slave and free
with all economies
with self and others

revelation is not unique
revelation is not eternal
revelation is not owned

revelation is invitational
revelation is expansive
revelation is prophetic

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