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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | John 20:24–29           

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.” (NRSV)

I am a Christian in the Millennial Generation. The question I am almost always asked: “Do you believe in the resurrection?”

And the truth is . . . I don’t know. Do I believe that Jesus Christ’s body—which had lost all life—was resuscitated, filled with breath and being, and walked this earth again? I don’t know. Like Doubting Thomas, it would be helpful for me to see Jesus Christ alive and well, bearing the wounds of his death. If I am asked if I believe that a human body can be drained of life and in three days resume its vigor . . . I don’t know.

However, if I am being asked, if I believe in resurrection, I have no doubt: Yes.

I tell them about the early Christians who, against many odds, kept their communities going and the gospel alive.

I tell them about the Reformers. Those who, when it felt like the church had grown too large and gone astray, risked it all, even their lives, so that the church might be renewed, might die and rise again.

I tell them about Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King Jr. Prophets who refused to let the movement for justice and dignity die, those who bore the burdens and the wounds. I tell them about how every time it appeared that hatred won, that the movement was dead and buried, it rose again—and lives today.

I think the resurrection is less of a belief or a philosophical argument. The resurrection is an identity. It is who we are, what defines us, and what we practice.

Resurrection is not a period at the end of a statement or a grand benediction. It is an overture, a prelude, a beginning to the Christian life. Baring wounds and scars, yet we live.

So ask me. Do I believe in resurrection? And I will tell you. Yes. Yes, a thousand times over.

My Lord and my God, grant me strength and courage that, though I may doubt, I may boldly proclaim the Good News of your love and resurrection. Amen.

Written by Shawn Fiedler, Worship and Adult Education Coordinator

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