All the readings from the Revised common Lectionary this week call us to celebrate God’s goodness and love. In the Gospel reading, Thomas, who had not been with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them, wrestled with faith until, finally, he also encountered the Risen Christ. But, when he did, he responded in praise and celebration. The Gospel writer uses Thomas as an example of the journey which we must all share as we come to faith. Then, in the Revelation, we see the reason for all this praise and celebration as we receive a vision of Christ not just as Risen, but as glorified. These two truths of our faith always go together – Christ is Risen, and Christ is glorified.

Unfortunately, we often misunderstand both of these truths, making Christ out to be some sort of military conqueror who uses violence and domination to destroy his enemies. But the New Testament is clear that both the resurrection and the glory of Christ flow from his death. We make a mistake when we define God’s Reign according to how human empires work. Rather, the Reign of God, the victory and the glory of Christ must all be understood through the lens of the cross. Our celebration, then, is not of a conquering Emperor, but of a humble servant, and of the life that is found in bringing life to others in acts of love, compassion, service, generosity and justice.

This week let’s celebrate the life and glory that Jesus revealed, and offered to us, through the way of the cross.

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