Caravaggio painted his The Incredulity of St. Thomas sometime around the turn of the seventeenth century. Jesus (in white linen) stands to the left, Thomas is next to him (in a thread-bare red shirt), and Jesus is guiding Thomas’s hand as Thomas places his finger in the wound just under Jesus’ right breast. Two other disciples, also in red, hover in the scene
In my experience, Easter Sunday is a fairly scripted event. For weeks, the choir has been practicing special music, perhaps a cantata. Extra bulletins have been printed since there may be visitors to the church, those Christmas-and-Easter Christians we are always talking about. Additional worshipers means that preparing and serving communion will take longer. There may be a bit of exhaustion—Holy Week services have drawn us into the agonies of Jesus’ last days. Pastors may have bags packed, ready to head out for a few days after all the extra work.
Easter has been coming, and we’ve made sure to be ready.
The readings for Good Friday conclude with tender and brave acts of love (John 19:38-42). Both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are cautious—Joseph is a secret disciple of Jesus, and Nicodemus had come to Jesus in the night, perhaps with a hood over his head and looking over his shoulder the whole way. Yet these two hesitant men demonstrate courage.
Thomas discerns what neither Mary Magdalene nor the other disciples did: that Jesus is both “my Lord and my God.” I wonder if we need to explore more seriously Thomas’s approach to faith. We sing “We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight,” but what is wrong with walking by both?