by Demi Prentiss
Last Sunday’s Gospel reading offered the story about the disciple we often call “Doubting Thomas.” I think Thomas gets a bad rap. Merriam-Webster says the first known use of that term was 1883, so for most of Christian history we didn’t dismiss Thomas quite so easily. After all, he’s the disciple who also said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him,” as Jesus headed to Jerusalem, knowing there were plots to kill him. And when Jesus, at the Last Supper, said, “You know the way to the place where I am going,” Thomas was the one bold enough to say, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
Thomas is the one who wants specifics, and is willing to follow Jesus into certain danger. When the other disciples claim to have seen Jesus after the Crucifixion, Thomas wants to see Christ’s wounds. And when he does see them, he doesn’t doubt – he believes. Not just that Jesus is alive. He proclaims that Jesus is both Lord and God – a specific and brave affirmation.
In our daily lives, can we be as brave as Thomas? Are we willing to look for Jesus in the places we work and play and study? And when we notice God at work in the world around us, are we willing to look directly at the bloody wounds and see Christ? Will we name our Lord and God, when we recognize God’s presence at work in unfamiliar places?
“Putting on Christ” in our baptism enables us not only to see God at work, but to be the hands and feet, ears and heart that put God’s love into action. Sometimes it’s hard to find the courage to do that. Sometimes, we can be as brave as Thomas.