In the Lectionary

April 24, Easter 2C (Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31

Thomas might be the patron saint of a secular age.

Last year I made a new friend—even better, a new friend who is a new Christian. When I met Devon, she had been reading Paul and Paul Tillich on her own. To be sure, there’s nothing wrong with diving into the deep end. More of us should aspire to such spiritual and intellectual fervor. But it’s awfully hard to find your footing as a person of faith without the benefit of Christian fellowship. She needed someone with whom to talk and pray.

Meanwhile, so many of my friends moved away or took new jobs during the pandemic that I had a gaping hole on my dance card. I invited her to meet me for breakfast. Over oat milk lattes we leapfrogged over anything resembling small talk. Instead we talked about God: God’s beauty, mystery, and grace. I’d drained my mug when I announced that I really wanted to know what she thought about Jesus, but first I had to pee. On return I learned that Devon was deeply drawn to Jesus. She was uninterested in vague spirituality; she craved a robust Christianity.

Still, I wasn’t surprised when a few months later I asked her what she thought about the resurrection, and her response was less than certain: “I . . . want to believe.”