Scripture: John 20: 26-28 (NRSV)
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then he 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!'
As I sat down to ponder what few hundred words I could say about Jesus' post resurrection appearance to Thomas, two emails that recently arrived from my son (who has just turned 40 and is a high school teacher) came to mind.
"In a respectful nod to your many midnight counseling sessions, I have received emails from 3 separate girls this Break all seeking relationship/break-up advice. It is a good thing that you raised me so well and as appreciative as I am that they find comfort in my words I cannot help but pass my gratitude your way. Indeed you have always been the model for such things. So thanks for the 'however-much-time-you-need.'"
Not too long after that email, the following one arrived:
"As I just sent the last email, I had a feeling that you'd add Boo (my mother and his grandmother) to the list. She always had good insights and seemed to also instill in you the kind of patient temperament required for such moments. And that is something you clearly passed on to me. So thanks all around!"
FYI he called his grandmother "Boo" because she played endless rounds of peek-a-boo with him. She would have been 103 this year. Born before World War I, the gifts that she shared are a source for my son to pass on to students who are in high school today. And I know personally that those gifts also came to me from my mother's mother who was born in 1888.
Today's scientists tell us that energy and matter are interchangeable, that matter manifests as a particle in an energy wave. If we stay with this scientific model, I am coming more and more to think that what we call the Spirit may actually be the waves of love that flow throughout the cosmos and manifest in us when we are open to them.
If so, might we not say that Jesus was/is the ultimate manifestation of that love? I don't know exactly what happened in that upper room or how it happened. But I do know that the risen Christ was manifest in a powerful and transformative way as an ultimate manifestation of that love. And I do know that each of us is called to manifest God's love in this world. My son's emails made me see how one particular enfleshed manifestation of that love can continue to give birth to love generations and even centuries later.
Open our eyes and calm our hearts, O God, that your transforming love may take root deep within us, bearing hope and new life beyond our imagination. Amen