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April 4, 2013
"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe." John 20:25

We are so accustomed to comparing ourselves favorably with poor Thomas, whose famous doubt has come to be considered part of his name, that we overlook something important about the way the resurrection works in us: Thomas isn't the only one who must absorb the fact of the risen Christ in his own way. We all do that. That's why people were often unable grasp who the risen Jesus was right away -- it took all of them a while to wrap their minds and spirits around the risen Christ.

It seems that there are two parts to the resurrection: Jesus' rising and our response. The resurrection, which we have always said was for our sake, seems also not to happen without our response, not to be an event in history so much as an event in relationship, a condition of our living with Christ. The resurrection is not so much a what as a how: here is how the dead is living, it says to us, here is how you experience him now.

How did it happen? we ask, and we cannot answer. What happened? we want to know, and nobody can say. But How is it within me? And what can I be now, because of it? Those questions take me a little further. I can work with those questions. I can live with them, and they will come to live in me. They are questions about now and about the future, not about the past. We don't seek the living among the dead.

And we all need to see some nailprints. Maybe not the ones we think we need to see, but something that will open a way for us into a future of belief that turns out not to be about evidence as much as it is about direction. Clues are what we need. And so we sharpen our eyes and look around, taking special care to expect the unexpected. And to assume nothing.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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