So. It's the week after Easter. Jesus is risen; he is appearing to his disciples; they're getting reorganized after the chaos of the crucifixionthey're getting the band back together. This can mean only one thing is starting to take shape: the church. Yes, you should definitely be scared. Here are the humble beginnings of the Body that would bring us Crusades, Inquisitions, witch hunts, and every kind of resistance to reason imaginable. Now, church has certainly had its glorious years of peace, reason, academy, too, not to mention great works of healing and reconciliation in the world. But it sure hasn't always been perfect. So when I look at the image of the early church in Acts 4, I have to say
I doubt it.
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
[...] And if you would love to hope and believe again but you just need the proof, come be among these disciples. Come and meet the risen Christ. Jesus shows up among us. We don't always know how, but Jesus does show up, saying, “Peace be with you. No matter how much you doubt it—Peace be with you. Peace be among you. Peace be within you. Peace be around you. Move from doubt to faith, because the peace I bring is true, and this peace is meant for [...]
[...] And Jesus' first words to Thomas and to them all are these: “Peace be with you.” And he walks over to Thomas, this faithful, wonderful, tormented, broken-hearted man, and he says, “Here [motion taking a person's hand and pressing them into palm].” And here [same motion for other hand]. And here [same motion, for side]. Do not doubt, but believe.” And Thomas, overcome with the good news, heart quivering with new life, says, Lord and my And how good the news is to a heart broken with doubt. [...]
[...] I want to put my fingers right where the nails went in, where the spear went It's a painful image, but he's proclaiming the crucifixion. He's not in denial about what happened. (And this may be a stretch, but stay with me ) He may have been the most faithful disciple. How is it that Thomas knows so well what happened? How is it that Thomas has such a vivid picture of what happened to Jesus, and that Thomas is the only disciple who offers this image out loud? [...]
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