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Stange Things, April 7, 2024

John 20:19-31, Easter B1,

Theme:  Doubt

 

“Strange Things”

‘Strange’ is a word which can illicit many different emotions – most of them fearsome.  But, why would that be, you ask?

Well since ‘strangeness’ implies that things are unfamiliar, there is the feeling that if things are strange, one is about to experience something unusual.  Unusual usually means ‘different.’

When things are ‘different’ it usually means something familiar has changed.

This is what Jesus’ disciples experienced at a meeting not long after Jesus’ resurrection.  Usually someone does not meet a person known to be dead; that is, a person who had died a terrible death in front of, well, the whole world. 

Jesus showed them his wounds.  Reading between the lines here, Jesus would have looked quite a sight.  Even if he had cleaned up, there would have been not only the wounds on his hands, feet, and side, but also on his head and back.  But that’s not all he did.  He breathed on them a powerful gift of the Holy Spirit.  I can’t even guess what that must have felt like.

 

Thomas had the most trouble because he was not present the first time Jesus showed himself to his friends.  I think he gets a bad rap.   I mean, how would anyone react to someone, even a close friend, telling of such an event -- especially a person who is supposed to be dead showing up for a meeting.

Anyway, it was strange to say the least.   But change is always a bit scary.  We humans are that way about things that are different. 

Believe me!  There is nothing familiar about what those men experienced not once, but twice.

Most of us wouldn’t believe it, even if we had seen it.  I know Thomas didn’t – that is, until he saw it with his own eyes, and touched Jesus’ wounds.

But there was something even scarier than what I just described.  What was really scary was the implications of what it meant.   To accept the reality of Jesus being resurrected from the dead was strange enough, but what it implied to the disciples and their future – that is a whole other thing.

It meant none of them could really go back to their ordinary lives – even though they tried. 

It meant that the teachings they had heard Jesus speak were not in any way hypothetical. 

It meant that the healing of lepers was going to continue.  It meant that ‘fishing for people’ really was going to be their stock and trade. 

The thing is, the whole 3 years of Jesus’ teachings and miracles that the followers of Jesus experienced, is still going on.

Come join us at Warrensburg First Christian Church on this Sunday after Easter as we begin to realize what it really means to accept the resurrection of the Christ.

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