Sunday, March 30, 2008

Not Just a Day

Looking at my Christian seasons calendar, I love how it describes Easter:
"Our high holy time culminates in Easter, a 50-day celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.... The significance of the resurrection to the church is shown in Easter's weekly celebration on each Sunday, and in the yearly feast day of Easter and in the 50-day season of Easter. It is a season of great astonishment and joy.... The season ends with the day of Pentecost when the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church is celebrated."

Easter is not just a day, or even a week. It's a season! During these seven weeks, I want to not only think about the significance of the resurrection, but to experience it in my own heart and life.

One of the lectionary texts for today is John 20:19-31. At this point, Jesus had been crucified, and the tomb was empty, but the passage opens with the disciples together in a room, and the doors locked because of their fear. That's when Jesus appeared.

I'd like to say the disciples were being foolish, but I have to admit it makes sense to me. I think of the emotional roller coaster they'd been on -- the excitement of the Triumphal Entry, the despair of the crucifixion, the uncertainty about the empty tomb, the fear behind their locked doors, the joy of seeing the resurrected Christ. It's no wonder Thomas doubted.

And I love Jesus' response. He met Thomas where he was, and offered himself -- not an idea or an argument -- as evidence. And, interestingly, we don't see Thomas taking Jesus up on the offer. He simpy reacted to the person of Jesus, the One he knew: "My Lord and my God!"

Jesus isn't afraid of our questions. He provides just enough to meet our needs, then allows us to take the last step toward him in faith.

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