Thursday, April 17, 2008
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Readings are here.
Thomas asks in the gospel of John, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Now days with GPS systems is more difficult to get lost and not know where we are going. But we can still be lost spiritually even though we know where we are physically. Thomas seems like a concrete thinker - in Chapter 11 he wants to know why Jesus wants to go back to the place where their lives were being threatened just because Lazurus is sick. After Jesus' death he wants to see the wounds for himself instead of taking the word of the others. So while he is thinking about an actual place - Jesus is talking about a way to journey with God.
We have lots of stones in these readings. The stones that were thrown at Stephen lodge in the mind and heart of the young man Saul who we later know at Paul the great evangelist of the church. The cornerstone that is rejected is Jesus upon whom our faith is built. Peter, the one called by Jesus as "rock" - asks us to become living stones, a holy priesthood, a piece of the spiritual house that God is building.
When one builds a wall or building of stones - the stones are of different sizes and shapes. They have to be fitted into one another, sometimes they have to have a few corners knocked off. So it is with us - the living stones - God is building us into a spiritual house not for some future time in another place but for here and now.
Today I am giving you a small stone as a reminder of your status as living stone, to ground you in a spiritual place when you feel lost and as the cornerstone to hold onto when you feel the slings and arrows of life battering you.