Greetings and welcome to the church season called Eastertide- the time following Easter Sunday (April 4) and extending to the feast of Pentecost (May 23). These 50 days are a time to marinate in what we are calling BIG LOVE- the power and promise of the revolutionary love made manifest through the resurrection!
During this season at Trinity, you will notice 2 different things about our Sunday Morning Devotion. First, for the next 6 weeks we have invited members of the Trinity community to offer reflections during the time of the sermon. Their hearts and voices will resound with BIG LOVE- bringing their lived experience and perspective to the road we make by walking together becoming Beloved Community. A deep bow of gratitude to each of them this day as they prepare to offer their gifts in the coming weeks.
The other difference you may notice, is that for these 6 Sundays we will not be including a Confession and Absolution following the Prayers of the People- why is that? Is it that we don’t have any need for a time to remember who and how we have fallen short in living from a place of God-centered BIG LOVE? Of course not- each of us, daily has moments of fear and falter, times when we consciously or unconsciously forget to be drawn in and directed by BIG LOVE and the consequence often results in our need to ask or seek forgiveness. The reason for this change in our liturgy speaks to our belief that corporate worship is an invitation to recognize the different seasons as reminders of who we are called to be. This is one of the seasons in our tradition that encourages us to live boldly into the proclamation of freedom and forgiveness through the resurrection.
So as we begin this new season- may we all stay on the lookout for resurrection moments- times and people and places when we are able to source BIG LOVE!
This Sunday, “Easter 2” is always the Sunday we hear the story of Thomas- who questions the validity of the Resurrected Christ. He has been given the moniker of “Doubting Thomas” over the years and along with it a deleterious reputation. I think that is unfortunate and maybe we would do well to claim just the opposite and rename him something more like “Show-Me Thomas”!
Over the years I have realized that the resurrection of BIG LOVE shows up for me each time I am able to name and claim my own doubt and then make an effort to see something or someone as if for the first time. Perhaps that is what Thomas did- he wasn’t there to see Jesus in that locked house the first time- and then, once he was there, he asked for what he needed in order to believe. Are we really any different?
Who is showing up for you today to embrace the “Show-Me Thomas” in your life? Grab the chance to deepen your faith walk this week- look with new eyes and perhaps BIG LOVE will show up again and again in the center of your beautiful life!
I end today with a lovely poem embracing the power of Thomas’ story in all of our lives!
May you never forget that you are loved,
Mark of the Nails (by Steve Garnaas-Holmes)
You want to see real resurrection,
not its paperwork. You want to touch it.
And you know where to look.
Ignore your packaged and trimmed doctrine,
don’t even look in your slick success stories.
Look in your wounds.
Reach out and put your hand in your losses,
the mark of your shame.
Where is it empty?
Where does your failure flop out of its costume
and bleed all over the floor?
Go ahead. Touch it.
Put your hand on your inadequacy.
The deepest wounds go deeper than you.
Sit a while with the corpse of yourself.
Wait for what you can’t wait for, can’t ask for.
Let that great emptiness open up in you.
Let it be as vast as God,
the wound divine,
your anguish and your Beloved: one.
There, where it’s hopeless,
that’s where the hope is. Go there.
Listen for the voice.