“I’ll post a sermon on Thomas”, I said to my congregation – “a sermon from another time which moves in and out of the text in a more conventional way.” But for now there’s something else. Because Thomas’s is speaking clearly to me in this moment of a yearning that instructs us.
His message for today I think comes from his desire to touch before giving his heart. For now we need to be physically distancing but someday we will need to try again to come close in the deepest of ways. That desire to touch that Thomas lives so loudly is what we need to hold as we imagine ourselves into the days that will be given to us tender as birds or beaded rain.
I went to a large Zoom meeting the other day and there was so much excitement about how the pandemic had pushed even reluctant on-liners into these connections. But, with my gratitude for our increasing facility with these online ways, I felt a distinct unease. We felt like a swarming hive without a certain home. It felt as though we were in flight away from the deeper questions of these pandemic days caught by the buzz of the routes we have managed to build over physical distancing; routes of course much less accessible to those who are economically marginalized.
How as we go forward can we remember to be present to one another in community in ways that celebrate what technology has given us but honour the way of our embodied selves, the way Thomas honoured this God who took on our flesh?
How can we build a culture that, among other things, creates safe and tender space for those in care homes before there is crisis? How can we honour health care and health care workers before chaos? How can we remember the groceries and meals and medications delivered and voices reaching out over phone lines, the songs sung outside windows and make them as much a priority as anything else. How can we count each soul when the world suffers and mourns and convalesces as one? How can we honour the swarm of our lives and turn toward home?
How can we recall the intimacy of Jesus’ breath in our returning? How can we like Thomas long to touch the wounds of the world and so, touch resurrection?
How are you touching resurrection these days?
Here’s a link to that earlier sermon.