What does it mean to be Easter people, to live on this side of the resurrection? One thing, for sure. We are now God’s hands and feet in the world – we are the ones entrusted with carrying out God’s mission.

That sounds both exciting and terrifying doesn’t it? After all, Jesus left us big shoes to fill and the needs around us are overwhelming.

But the good news is that throughout history, God has empowered and used imperfect people just like us to bring the good news to others.

As we hear the stories of some of those people this week, may we be empowered to be Easter people as well.

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Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”

After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!”

Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”

Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.

John 20:24-31

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Be honest, do you have a hard time believing in the resurrection? Thomas does, and he gets a bad rap because of it. In fact, the church usually calls him “Doubting Thomas” because he doesn’t believe the disciples words. I wonder if Thomas is a science guy, one who needs evidence and proof to believe the unbelievable. But his response is no different from the rest of the disciples who don’t believe Mary’s report and lock themselves inside in fear.

Notice that Jesus never labels Thomas a doubter, and he is happy to provide Thomas with the evidence he needs to believe.

Sometimes I wish we could have proof too, don’t you? Jesus understands that it’s hard, so he gives us this promise. “Blessed are you who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” May it be so for each of us this Easter season.

Tracy Hartman

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Jesus, in our scientific age, it is hard sometimes to believe in what I cannot see. Help me to trust the testimony of others that did see, so that I too may believe. Amen.

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He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Go and be Easter people.

Tracy Hartman

Tracy Hartman serves on the faculty of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in Richmond VA where she teaches preaching and directs the seminary’s internship program. She also enjoys preaching and teaching throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Tracy and her husband Jay are the parents of two grown children. Tracy enjoys traveling and all kinds of fiber arts.

Wondrous Love: Be Thou My Vision

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