Summary: That is why we gather every week, because doubt is permitted in church. The story of the doubting Thomas is a great example for our faith lives.
- The disciples saw that Jesus resurrected from the dead
- Thomas says, he could not believe unless he sees it
- Many people were spectators when Jesus was crucified
- The disciples - foremost our fearful Thomas for sure - hid away from the people, e.g. Peter denying Jesus
- Nevertheless the disciples - foremost our fearful Thomas for sure - believed that Jesus had died, although they had not seen that happen
- Thomas is an important character for us: The doubting Thomas is a saying, an inspiration for paintings and movies, a Sunday School hero
- Us churchgoers, we know that every once in a while we feel and think and act quite like the fearful disciple
BAD NEWS RULE
- We need to educate ourselves how Thomas feels and thinks and acts and from there we can learn something about ourselves
- We have a disposition to believe in bad news:
CEOs are criminals, politicians are corrupt, all of us are to blame for global warming
Something like that mentioned by the way - we believe it right away
Homelessness and drug abuse are on the rise in our valley, tell me more about it!
- Good news tend to turn is into skeptics like Thomas:
People in Iraq are better of today than they were under the Hussein regime, our politicians do their best for our country, the human impact on global warming is totally negligible
scurrilities like that, talking about the world being a happy place, we do not want to hear that
our valley's economy is not in a bad shape, their is hardly any crime. I don't care!
- This is exactly the way the disciple Thomas feels and thinks and acts: He believes right away that Jesus died on the cross. That God resurrected Jesus from the dead he has a hard time believing that
- And that again is exactly the way we feel and think and act, not only concerning world news:
- The birth of a child, first and foremost is a reason for anxiety about the future. The first question you gotta answer once you are new to the parenting business is: "Are mother and child doing well?" Only after this question new parents are being congratulated on the new arrival.
- When a beloved one dies people prefer quick comfort: "Death is part of life. You gotta carry on. Life goes on..." Swearing, Cursing, Mourning, Crying, Weeping, Gnashing your Teeth are out of fashion. Death is a truth, that's the way things are. Period.
GOOD NEWS RULE
- Dear Brothers and Sisters, God opposes this view! That is why the resurrected Jesus tells his disciples: "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
- Blessed are we, as we believe that Jesus rose again from death, although we haven't seen it
- For the disciples who back then witnessed everything, believing was a lot easier:
- Us, in our time and place, we are not able to see or experience it that easily
- That is why we gather every week, because doubt is permitted in church. The story of the doubting Thomas is a great example for our faith lives
- John the Evangelist also explains why the doubting Thomas is important for us: "But these [stories] 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."