I wasn’t quite sure what would happen when I decided to embark on this 100 day challenge of writing each day. It has been challenging at times, when I’ve waited until before bed to write and was too tired to think of anything of real substance. Or when I just couldn’t think of anything to write. Or like today, when I’m sick and have a headache and don’t feel like typing. Yet, it’s also very rewarding…to have something published, to have people like what I have to say, to have people “follow” the blog.
Today I worked on my sermon for Sunday…using ideas I took from the Progressive Youth Ministry conference and Amy-Jill Levine’s lecture and instead of fixating on Thomas and his doubt, stepped away from the passage and considered it as a whole…especially what Jesus was doing in the passage. It’s pretty remarkable what happens when you take into account the context as a whole instead of focusing on one person, one action, one word or phrase, one moralistic point.
Yet, we tend to stick with what we’re comfortable with, with a prescribed moral lesson. We like the passage tied up in a pretty bow, easy to deliver and receive. We don’t like the discomfort of struggle, death, hopelessness, or the feeling that God isn’t really in the passage at all.
I don’t think I ever really paid attention to what Jesus was doing in John 20:19-31 because I had always been led and taught to focus on Doubting Thomas. But Jesus, wow, Jesus is really doing some awesome things. AND – the other disciples are just as guilty as Thomas for not believing…because Mary had already told them all that Jesus was alive; they just didn’t believe her (which is a whole ‘nother sermon).
When I first agreed to preach on this text I had a sermon already in mind about Thomas, but then the Holy Spirit intervened and I’m so happy she did. Jesus is way more interesting.