“But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31
Each year since my ordination, I have had the privilege of singing an ancient text called the Exsultet and proclaiming the Easter gospels. No matter the location or setting - an ornate cathedral, a camp chapel, a small country church - I experience similar things. First, while the words are well-known after 20 plus years, each time there is something fresh and new that comes out of these words and stories. It never ceases to amaze me that God brings new thoughts, ideas and images to the forefront of the familiar stories and ancient lines of music. The second experience is a physical one - and it is difficult to explain - but sometime during the proclamation of one of the gospel resurrection stories I feel the presence of something else - I have always believed it is the Holy Spirit. It isn’t always on Easter day, though it did happen this year.
I believe there are many things that keep us “locked behind” doors that are closed and hidden from others. Sometimes it is the regular grind of daily living or maybe the reality of events or life circumstances - illness, death of a loved one, family dysfunction, and the constant news cycle of horrific news from around the world. All of the disciples, not just Thomas, were no different. But what was it that moved them out of that locked room and out proclaiming the unbelievable story of Jesus being raised from the dead? What moves you to tell the stories of resurrection in your life?
Over the next weeks of Easter we will explore stories of resurrection. In our liturgies we will hear the stories from the gospel writers and through sermons. In formation time we will hear from each other and special speakers. Through the sharing of these stories, I hope that you will be encouraged to tell your stories of resurrection. Come hear, and then share - for it is in the hearing and sharing that we come to believe.
“Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” John 20:20b