The Quixotic Pastor

Friday, April 13, 2007

This Week's Gospel

Since I have, in years past, been Thomas' defender when preaching on John 20:19-31 ...

... and given that I'm preparing to go to DC to lobby in favor of ENDA and Hate Crimes Legislation ..

I think I want to view this resurrection encounter through a rainbow-colored, or perhaps a lavender-colored, lens this Sunday.

Here's the disciples, shut up tight in the security of their closet-like room, and Jesus Resurrected appears to them, breathes the Holy Spirit upon them, and commissions them --sends them forth-- to witness to him.

There are millions of GLBT Christians out there firmly shut up in their faith-closets, to whom the resurrected Christ appears and who are then commissioned to be Christ's faithful witnesses. They come out, emerging from those tomb-like closets to proclaim their faith in a God who loves and cares for them and celebrates their sexuality as a gift.

Meanwhile, back to the text ... for whatever reason Thomas isn't there, and Thomas is skeptical when the others recount their experience of the Risen Lord. Maybe a part of the reason is that Thomas did not witness much change in the behavior of the disciples who had already seen the Risen Lord, because Thomas was not THERE to witness it. Thomas misses out because he is not present. At any rate, Thomas demands to see nailprints and wounds ...

I wonder if the well-meaning Christians that would deny the faith and the ministry of GLBT persons of faith are like Thomas. GLBT Christians can and do proclaim their faith and incur the nailprints and wounds of suffering servants --but other Christians don't see it just simply because they are not there, not present, and, like Thomas, remain skeptical.

The invitation GLBT Christians offer to others is consistent with the Johannine concept of witness --"Come and see. Come and feel. Come and touch. Experience the Resurrected Christ in our communities, in our lives. See how we as GLBT Christians are Easter People, brought forth out of the closet-tombs where we once languished ..."

I have to reflect upon and think about this a lot more, if I am going to preach it.


  • At 5:40 PM , Blogger mompriest said...

    I wonder what, if anything, the disciples actually did in that "week" between when Jesus showed up in the room the first time and when he came back again, to meet Thomas....They are all in the same room. And the doors are still locked, the love God in Christ is still locked within.... And the reading does not speak about anything the disciples have done in between...Yes, they believe they have seen Jesus, but were they changed by it? Or did it take Thomas experiening the risen Christ to really move them out of their locked positions...

    Perhaps the Holy Spirit is telling us, as our churches die and Christianity verges on becoming a meaningless tradition, that we too are stuck. (Ok for me that's a duh)... As Christians we will not be able to become fully who we are as 21st century Christians until we meet all our members where they are and accept them for who they are, beloved. Made in the image of God. Christ does not judge Thomas, he loves him, just as he is. And so should we.

    Well just my meandering thoughts...I hope you find what it is you want to say and preach!

  • At 2:13 PM , Blogger Rainbow Pastor said...

    So how did Thomas prach?


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