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Welcomed With Open Arms
April 16, 2023, 1:00 AM

Second Sunday of Easter

Thomas is not the only one missing from the assembly the Sunday after Easter Sunday. We are not told why Thomas is missing, but we do know why plenty of other folks are absent from the assembly: vacations, traveling, spring break for the kids.

Thomas is criticized for doubting, but he asks for nothing more than the same experience of the risen Christ the rest of the disciples had. By the grace of God, Jesus returns a second time and offers his body as living proof to Thomas. In the presence of Jesus, Thomas discovers he did not need the proof he demanded. Thomas’ story is our story. We are not always where we need to be. Sometimes we even find ourselves in places we should not be at all. But Jesus comes to us, seeking us out and giving us the gift of faith. Thomas is not criticized, he is not condemned. Instead Jesus loves Thomas back into a relationship and shows the disciples what the words “Peace be with you” mean when lived out.

The resurrection promise can be heard through Peter’s powerful preaching in the reading from Acts as well. Jesus will triumph over death. Peter points to Jesus’ death on the cross, but what of the little ways we die? The loss of relationships, the ending of friendships, the pain of being alone and left out, the despair of losing a job, the doubt that comes on the heels of a negative diagnosis. Jesus comes to bring a holy peace and resurrection into the world in these times as well. This Sunday is an opportunity to proclaim the power of the resurrection and the grace of God, who welcomes Thomas with open arms.