Sunday, April 19, 2009

Left Out

"I will not believe until I see the marks made by the nails in his hands." John 20:25

The feeling of being left out is something we all have experienced when we were young, and something both natural and completely uncomfortable. That feeling when you walk in a room and everyone is laughing. And then they stop. When people say things like, "you had to be there" it both isolates and shamed us. we missed something that binds the whole community together and now we no longer belong.

Thomas, a faithful and loving disciple, was not present when Jesus appeared. When Thomas had last seen the other disciples, they others had locked themselves away, huddled together in fear. When Thomas arrives, they are all happy and ecstatic. I can imagine that he was startled by their excitement and their behavior, but also concerned that shuttered away they had given in to a group hysteria.

On this second Sunday of Easter, let us remember those who have been isolated and separated from communities. These are those who need to be drawn back in and shown the signs of love. They are the ones who need the physical and demonstrable touch of Christ in their lives. We have all needed that touch ourselves, from time to time. Let us be instruments this day of the restoration and increase of faith in others. May our words and actions demonstrate Christ alive in us and in community. And may our words and actions always draw others in and never isolate them. For Jesus, finding Thomas present, offered him his hands and his side to touch. May we, following Christ, offer ourselves so that others might believe.

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