In the Lectionary

April 19, Easter 2A (John 20:19–31; 1 Peter 1:3–9)

There's more than one way to taste and see the goodness of God.

A deacon in our diocese told me that he’s never had an overtly spiritual experience that grounds his Christian faith. “I have a friend who worries about my salvation because of it,” he said, laughing. “He asks me every time I see him: ‘Have you been zapped yet?’”

Now, a lack of zapping has not prevented this deacon from devoting his life to the proclamation of the gospel, seeking justice in his work, and raising up servant leaders within the church. He trusts and proclaims the essence of the ancient creeds with joy, his bass voice booming “Alleluia! Alleluia!” with each dismissal, though he has not seen the Lord in any identifiable fashion. The words of 1 Peter could describe him and countless others: “Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.”

“Blessed are those who have not seen,” Jesus says in John, “and yet have come to believe.” Where does such faith come from? How does it work?