The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:

First Reading: Acts 4:32-35
Psalm 133
Second Reading: I John 1:1-2:2
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31

The liturgical color for the day is: White

Easter is not simply a day on the liturgical calendar, it is a season.  The season is fifty days and stretches to the Day of Pentecost.  Each Sunday in Eastertide is treated as a Sunday of Easter and is named successively, so this coming Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter. 

The Gospel Reading is what is usually referred to as the “Doubting Thomas” story.  The scene is one week after Easter evening, and in John’s Gospel the Risen Christ appears in the room with Thomas and the other disciples.

While the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) emphasize faith, the Gospel of John has an emphasis on believing.  The Thomas story is about his inability to believe that it was Jesus who had stood among the disciples a week earlier.  He makes the bold proclamation that unless he can both see and touch, he cannot believe.  Thomas wanted visible proof. 

When Jesus does appear, it is Thomas who makes the truly bold proclamation, “My Lord and my God!” (verse 28) This proclamation is the climax of the Gospel of John. 

In a post-Enlightenment world, where proof takes on a more physical nature, we dare to challenge the notion of how we understand proof.  Faith, in and of itself, becomes a visible proof.  Such faith is individual, but more so, it is communal and corporate.  Notice how the others did not exclude Thomas because of his lack of belief but kept him in community—such is the nature of the church at its best.  At the right time he came to fullness of belief making the proclamation that is at the pinnacle of the gospel: “My Lord and my God!”

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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