Griffith Lutheran Church
1000 North Broad Street | Griffith, IN, 46319 | 219-838-1626

Growing Christ-centered relationships in our communities through love and service.

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A Few Words from Pastor Scales...

April 3rd, 2016
Easter 2
Acts 5: 27-32; Psalm 118: 14-29; Revelation 1: 4-8; John 20: 19-31

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine’s 40-year-old daughter died of a rare cancer, in fact, it is really believed that she might have died from the treatment rather than the disease. After the funeral of her daughter, and several days later JoAnne and I were visiting over her house. At some point in the conversation I said something like, “Well, you know, she's really not gone. You will be with her again.” She looked at me straight in the eye and said, “Not now, Freda. No.” I felt like a worm. She was not ready to hear about life eternal and the resurrection. She was not ready to hear anything about the comfort and consolation of the Holy Spirit through a resurrected Jesus. Within a couple of years, she had lost her husband, her daughter and an infant grandson. Talking Jesus was not what she wanted to hear. What did she want to hear? Nothing, her pain and her scars were too deep to console.

Joanne is faithful in her church; she attends regularly; she did not abandon her faith, but her faith at that moment was not something she wanted to grab onto. Her pain was way too humanly deep.

But you know what, whether she wanted Jesus there or not, he was there. He was with her. He stayed with her and is still with her, regardless of where she is in relation to him. Did she doubt of the existence of Jesus during her pain or could she just not even go there? Either or both.

Jesus is where ever we are, waiting patiently for us to reach out. And what is significant, especially in relation to the resurrection, Jesus is standing there, beside us, with the scars in his hands and a scar in his side, and more than likely, scars all over his body.

Today, we read about Thomas having a difficult time believing that Jesus had risen. But what does he say? He does not say, “To see him is to believe.” No, he says, “I must put my fingers in the scars of his hands and the scar in his side.” That is what Thomas remembers. That is the Jesus of Thomas, not one with a crown of gold on his head or dazzling white robes. The Jesus of Thomas is scared. The Jesus of Thomas is one who does not prevent us from being scared, but stands with us when we are.

The Jesus we read about today is patient. He did not scold Thomas for his doubting to believe what the disciples had said. He simply walked up to Thomas and offered him what Thomas had requested. “Place your fingers in the scars of my hands and the scar in my side. Here,” he said, “here are the scars that you wanted to see.”

Thomas believed because he saw the scars of Jesus. It is not clear whether he really understood at that time what had just happened. We don't know if Thomas knew at that instance that the scars of Jesus saved him from an eternal death. We do not know if at that moment that Thomas realized that the scars of Jesus were a result of the world's sins. But what we do know is that it is the scars of Jesus that not only brought Thomas to believe in the resurrected Jesus and want to be his follower.

Do we not see Jesus through his scars as well, perhaps more so than any other way? Jesus is not pushing his resurrection on us, like me, as I did with my friend. Jesus stands with us, indeed resurrected, but damaged, scared, just like you and me. It's significant that Thomas wanted to see and touch the scars of Jesus. He didn't remember what Jesus said on the cross. He remembered seeing his hands and feet nailed and his side pierced.

That's what Thomas wanted in a resurrected Jesus, a scared resurrected Jesus. Because Thomas knew that when he was in the presence of a Jesus that was damaged and covered with scars, that Jesus would have no trouble being in the presence of Thomas who was also damaged and covered with scars.

​Amen,
​Pastor Scales

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