(Don’t) Take Me to Church 4/19/20: Dormant and Doubtful

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Photo: Deleece Cook on Unsplash

It wasn’t the remedy one might expect for these times, watching Donna gently twist the wilted blooms from her Easter lily.  Gathered in front of our screens for the (***checks calendar, because what is time anymore***) sixth Sunday in a row, even in this season of resurrection, we spent a moment or two with death—another moment or two, really, in this season of resurrection that is also a season of death.  New York experienced something of a second peak in COVID-19 deaths after our initial Holy Week high, and while we knew the death toll would continue to mount, it feels especially Sisyphean to note that the worst was not, in fact, over.

On the second Sunday of Easter, we remembered St. Thomas, and it’s worth noting that, even in traditions less free with the “Saint” title than ours, he’s remembered as a saint.  As Valerie pointed out in her meditation, Thomas’s doubt does not exclude him from the communion of saints; it doesn’t exclude him from the band of disciples a mere week after Jesus’s resurrection; and it certainly doesn’t exclude him from the love and regard of Jesus.  Thomas remains in the circle despite—because of?—his doubt.  His doubt brings him into a new phase of his relationship with Jesus and his fellow disciples, one we don’t see in the Gospels, one in which he will contemplate what it might mean for him to believe without seeing, or discern when to demand proof and when to trust that things will reveal themselves in due time.

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