Today is the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle. Here is the collect for today.
“Almighty and everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with sure and certain faith in your Son’s resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.”
Thomas got a real bad rap. He became known as doubting Thomas due to his insistence on seeing the Lord’s wound’s first hand. You see, Thomas was not in the room when Jesus appeared and had to take his friends word for it. What I would like to know is why he should not have doubted what they were saying. I mean look at it with fresh eyes.
There is very little said of Thomas in scripture. When we do see him quoted we hear words of great faith and support. When the disciples were not sure about going to Jerusalem because of Danger and fear of death for Jesus, Thomas said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." (John 11:7,8,16) At the last supper Thomas wants to know all about the way to him. So we are surprised that he should have some doubts about these disciples who were uncertain about the risks and dangers of following Jesus? Should we be surprised that he was skeptical about believing this band of people who fell away from Jesus when he was at his darkest hour? Is it a shock to any of us that Thomas would be pessimistic about the story of a group that we talking about what happened to them while they were “locked in the room in fear” of what the people might do to them if they knew they followed Jesus?
Remember that in this story of Thomas who wanted to see for himself, we hear of a disciple who was not locked up with the others. This was a guy who was out there. I think we all should be so curious about our God. We should all be so insistent on entering into God’s woundedness. There is enough of the woundedness to go around.
I was curious about Thomas Feast Day being right before Christmas. I did not know why it is but for what it is worth here is my reflection –
In Christmas, God comes to us in the Holy Child. God becomes human. God takes on flesh in the form of Jesus. The Lord is with us Emmanuel. In the grand scheme of the story we know that God takes on our woundedness in the most unbelievably dramatic and visceral way. Christmas begins the long journey to Good Friday. God took on our humanity so that God would know our woundedness. God gets to know that too well in a journey from infancy to adulthood. It is fitting then that we are reminded of Thomas before Christmas. Thomas wanted to enter into Christ’s woundedness. He wanted to feel the cracked skin, the broken flesh, and the painful wounds. Thomas wanted to enter into relationship. He wanted to engage in that which the incarnation – Christmas is all about. He wanted oneness with God. In Christmas we celebrate that God sought oneness with us. It is all about relationship.
So as we get ready for Christmas, let us all seek that oneness. Let us all realize that this feast which is coming is really all about God knowing us altogether. It is God’s offering to us. Today’s feast is about Thomas’ desire to be one with God altogether. Let us seek that sense of communion with God as we prepare to celebrate the moment when God sought communion with us.