Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday in Advent 4 (St. Thomas' Day)

John 20:24-29
vv. 27-28: Then Jesus 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!"

[From Eugene Peterson's The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways that Jesus is the Way, 2007, p. 242].

"A week later, the disciples were together again. This time Thomas was with them....And then Jesus was among them again. Thomas was all eyes. Jesus was gracious to him, and offered the 'evidence' of the holes in his hand and the gash in his side. And then the prayer burst from Thomas: 'My Lord and my God!'

"Thomas' prayer keeps us ready for what comes next; it keeps us alert to the Jesus who rules our life as Lord and commands our worship as God when we are least expecting it. Following Jesus is not a skill we acquire so that we can be useful to the kingdom. Following Jesus is not a privilege we are let into so that the kingdom can be useful to us. It is obedience ('my Lord!'). And it is worship ('my God!').

"No matter how much we know, we don't know enough to know what Jesus is going to do next. And no matter how familiar we are with the traditions and customs and privileges that go with being on God's side, we aren't familiar enough to know how Jesus fits into it.

No religious skills that any of us acquire will ever produce resurrection, and no spiritual strategies that we work out will ever produce resurrection. Following Jesus doesn't get us where we want to go. It gets us to where Jesus goes, where we meet him in resurrection surprise: 'My Lord and my God!'"

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