We live in what we call the modern age. And one of the key developments of our modern age is the emphasis on the individual. Individualism as way of understanding what it is to be human has been growing in importance for at least the last five hundred years and shows no sign of stopping. Sometimes, our emphasis on the individual brings with it good things: individual human rights and personal freedom come to mind. I may or may not like your ink and piercings, I may not ag
Sometimes I think about Easter in three parts: The “Wow!” the “What?” and the “So What?” We talked about the “Wow!” two weeks ago, on Easter Sunday. We see it in the transformation of Mary Magdalene when she realizes that Jesus is standing in front of her, when she sees that he has been raised from the dead, when she tells the others “I have seen the Lord.” Easter is a “Wow!” moment. Empowering. Inspiring. But part of Easter is also the “What?” What just happened? What
Evidence-based decision making. Sounds like a good thing doesn’t it? Isn’t that why we brought back the long-form census in most our recent federal census? We spend billions of dollars each year doing research and gathering evidence so that we can make good decisions. So why is it that when Thomas declares that he needs to see the evidence, we label him as a doubter and hold him up as an example of what not to do for 2000 years? It hardly seems fair. You heard the story.
Jesus came and stood among them, and he breathed on them. That’s kind of weird, isn’t it? Doesn’t that seem like a strange detail for John to record? I mean, when’s the last time you came into a room and made a point of breathing on people. Not socially acceptable really. Weird. I understand that it’s been a weird day. It’s still Easter Sunday as our gospel reading begins. The empty tomb. People running back and forth. Jesus appears to Mary. Mary tells the disciples.