ACTS 2:42-47, | 1 PETER 1:3-9 | JOHN 20:19-31
ast Sunday we stood before the empty tomb with Mary of Magdala in the pre -dawn darkness. We saw Peter and John arrive. We noted the confusion on Peter’s face. We saw John in awe, his eyes filling with tears.
This Sunday we’re in a locked room with many men and women, all of them disciples.
They’re speaking in hushed, fearful tones. A few of the women stifle a yelp when they see it, but no one speaks. The silence of death still has its grip on the room.
Then they hear it, one word, one beautiful word. Shalom. A gentle, embracing, rocking-back-and-forth Shalom. Still no one speaks. He lets the word move through the room as he quietly extends his hands. They see the wounds as he stretches out a loving gesture of welcome. Their eyes follow his hand as he pulls back his tunic revealing the wound on his side. The wound that bled water and blood. He’s the crucified Jesus. They recognize him! Jesus, wounded. Jesus, alive. Jesus, come to raise them from the dead. They begin to breathe again. Many of them cry. Some shout his name. Again, he says Shalom.
He moves from one to the other breathing into each of them the breath of his own life, his Spirit. He anoints them with such power that they can forgive sins. When he departs as mysteriously as he appeared, the room rocks with the blare of their voices.
As he approaches the door, Thomas hears the commotion inside. He knocks loudly the secret knock they had agreed upon. As they pull open the door, he hears everyone speaking at the same time. “We’ve seen the Lord!” But Thomas’ spirit is too beaten down, too lifeless to share the celebration. He can’t hear. He’s deaf to the good news. Until the following Sunday.
This time no one is missing when he comes. Everyone hears him speak the word, shalom. He reveals his side and stretches out his hands to Thomas. “Thomas, touch my wounds.” The moment he touches the wounds the Spirit flows through him – he sees. He hears. He recognizes the voice of his Lord and his God!
This is our story, the story of our gathering. The story of our fear and disbelief. The story of our healing. The story of our anointing. We must never stop telling the story. We’ve been anointed to share the good news.