John 20: 19-31
They used to call me Thomas The Twin. Now they call me Doubting Thomas. Just because I wanted to have the same experience as the others. Just because I wanted to see him one more time. Wouldn’t you?
Everyone already knows I would follow him anywhere.When Mary and Martha sent for Jesus to come to their brother Lazarus who was ill and near death, and Jesus had delayed leaving for a few days, the others all said, “Lord, you should not go to Bethany. There are those nearby ready to kill you.”
And yet, was it not I, and I alone, who said, “Let us also go, that we might die with him.” Why am I not known as Thomas the Brave?
At the Last Supper he was telling us that he would be leaving, but that he would come back to get each and every one of us. He also said, “And you know the way to the place where I am going.” That’s when I said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” He told us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” He also said that we who follow him will do the works he does, and greater works than these will we do! Can you imagine! (John 14:12)
The very next day Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” Everyone asks, “What is truth?” As it turns out truth is not an idea, not a proposition, not a doctrine - Truth is a man, a person, the Word become flesh and blood. Truth walked among us, ate with us, fed us, washed our feet, healed people, taught people - he lived among us as one of us. No, not “as” one of us - He is one of us!
Surely you remember the song: What if God was one of us? Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home.
And yeah yeah God is great, yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah
What if god was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Just trying to make his way home
Like a holy rolling stone
Back up to heaven all alone
Just trying to make his way home
Nobody calling on the phone
‘cept for the Pope maybe in Rome
So he had appeared to the others a week before. The day the tomb was found empty. The day Mary said she had seen him. He just appeared, mind you. He did not knock on the door, or open the door - He was just there. He said the one word that he was always saying - which was the heart of his message, his news - “Shalom....Peace be with you...”
God’s Shalom - God’s shalom, God’s peace, the peace of God which surpasses all understanding is a vision of justice and peace and dignity for all persons - not some people, not most people, not people just like us, but all people. When he said this he breathed on them. He breathed on them the breath of God. God’s Ruach - a Hebrew word that means breath, wind and spirit. God’s breath is the spirit of all life. In the beginning God took a handful of dust and breathed into it and here we are - male and female he made us in his image with his ruach, his breath, his spirit, his wind that blows on us and makes us his.
It was that quiet moment of his breathing on them that I really wanted to feel and experience myself. He offered to let me touch his wounds. But I did not have to do that. When he said, “Shalom,” his breath, his spirit, his ruach animated my breath and my spirit so that immediately, even though he did not look at all the same, I knew it was him.
“My Lord and my God!” I cried out. I did not think to say anything. It just came out of me. As soon as he said, “Shalom,” his breath became my breath, his word became my word. Peace, Truth, Healing, Love. God is Love. God is Truth. God is Healing. God is Peace, shalom - all comes from his breath, his ruach, the life giving, life animating ruach of God - the Word - the Logos, who was with God and is God.
What I remember most is how quiet it was. Perfectly still. Even now when I am still, when I allow myself to be quiet, I can still feel that breath, that life giving Ruach!
Sisters! Brothers! It is Good! Come into the quiet. Be One with God’s Breath. Rest in this waiting place! Peace will there! Truth will be there. Love will be there. Healing will be there.
Diane Davis Andrew
Come into the quiet
Be one with God’s breath
Rest in this waiting place
Peace will be there
Rest, rest, Peace will be there
Truth was there that day. Truth is a man. A new man. He is here. Now. Calling us to become new ourselves! I have never been the same. I am Thomas the Twin! Be my twin. Each day set aside time to come into the quiet. To be one with God’s breath. Rest in this waiting place. God’s shalom will be there. Let his breath, his spirit breathe new life into us all. Every day. Every way. The God who is the word, the God who is one of us, renews us and restores us. So that we all say, My Lord and my God! Amen!