getting out the WORD - the second sunday of easter PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER...
Almighty God, with joy we celebrate the day of our Lord's resurrection. By the grace of Christ among us, enable us to show the power of the resurrection in all that we say and do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
But [Thomas] said to [the disciples], "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."

John 20:19-31

It was something Thomas said that made me curious. So, I took a few moments and wandered through the building looking for paintings of Jesus. I found five. Leonardo DaVinci's "The Last Supper." Heinrich Hoffman's "Christ in Gethsemane." "Head of Christ" by Warner Sallman. Each portrayed Jesus prior to the cross. So, no marks. A fourth showed the Risen Christ holding out his hands. I always thought he was, simply, reaching out in welcome, in acceptance. But looking closer, he was showing "the mark of the nails" in his hands!

The last picture, though, surprised me. It was another by Warner Sallman. "Christ at Heart's Door." It's the artist's interpretation of Revelation 3:20 , "I'm standing at the door knocking." And no matter how long and hard I looked, I couldn't see anything. A shadow? Maybe a scratch? But nothing like a mark! A painting picturing "a central theological principle" of American Christianity! Receiving Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior! Inviting Christ into our heart! And not a single scar! Not even a scratch!

For Thomas, it was all about wounds. Gory! Even grotesque! Finger in the mark! Hand in the side! But maybe Thomas wasn't as "doubting" as we think. Maybe he, just, had his priorities right. We don't believe in, merely, Jesus! We believe in Jesus' innocent suffering and dying! In his holy and precious blood! Maybe Thomas was right! Unless we see and touch the wounds, maybe there, really, is no believing!

Bob Barndt, pastor

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