Red swirling tails overtaking the ripples of clear water. Ribbons of crimson twirling quietly, in this silent moment. A secret flood, a hushed wave, a hidden current rolling smoothly beneath the surface. All by herself, she watches the scarlet dance. Entranced by the simple beauty in the water. Hypnotized by the simple horror of the blood.
Every year on the Sunday after Easter, we read from John chapter 20 and hear again the appearance of our resurrected Lord to His disciples. Every year, whether it is in the midst of a pandemic and you are watching church from your living room or you are sitting in church with your family, we get caught up in the story of doubting Thomas and his desire to poke around in the holes of Jesus’ hands. It is a powerful text, from which we get perhaps the greatest confession of faith ever spoken.
We live in a world where a person who admits their sins and weaknesses is considered cowardly and weak. To actually say one is wrong is often viewed as a sign of frailty and feebleness. Why? Much of it is pride; and for those who are proud they see themselves as strong and ambitious and are willing to trample over anyone in their path for the sake of progressing oneself for any number reasons. Because of this public opinion, popularity, and the so-called “career” are the very things by which we find ourselves being defined. We think we must be strong candidates in these three classifications to show signs that we are winning at the “game of life.” These “successes” are how we show the family, friends, the world, even God that we are worth something. Everything hinges on what people think of us, how well they like us, and how good we are at our jobs – or at least that it appears that we are performing our professions well.
In the midst of life, we are in death;
from whom can we seek help?
From you alone, O Lord,
who by our sins are justly angered.
Holy God, holy and mighty, holy and merciful Savior,
deliver us not into the bitterness of eternal death.
– Media Vita In Morte Sumus (14th century hymn)
There is something wonderful about going home at the end of a day. To leave behind the world with its unpredictability, with its stresses and struggles, and return home, to the predictable, the familiar, the comfortable. It is a joyful thing. To kick off your shoes and relax in your favorite place to sit. To zone out in front of the TV or whatever screen of choice you like the best. It is something we often look forward to throughout the day. The comfort of your home is legendary, at least to you,
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