This time every year, the world goes pastel.  Lavender bowties and pink dresses and yellow ribbons, all of us in light colors out on the Easter egg hunt of life.  Checking under park benches and peeking around tree trunks, crawling in the grass and climbing atop the slide, after that hidden egg with the answer inside.  But no matter how long we search, our baskets keep coming up empty.

John 20:19-31When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Where should we look for Easter?

Congregational Responses:

Everywhere Jesus breathes on us, same as when God breathed on creation
Any place without locked doors where Christians aren’t holding their breath
Follow the eyes of your heart
At all of the signs yet to come

The myth of the new life is that it requires only covering ourselves in pastels.  But after the bunnies have hoped away, the chocolate has melted and our spring flair has been hung up, we still haven’t found any eggs.

Where should we look for Easter?

Start with the spear piercing in your side and the nail holes in your hands, where the sutures have been stitched, and the bandages have been wrapped. Start by believing that Sunday’s healing begins with Friday’s hurt.

Jane Hirshfield answers, “And see how the flesh grows back across a wound, with a great vehemence, more strong than the simple, untested surface before. There’s a name for it…, when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh.” Proud flesh, the connective tissue that grows over an injury.

In the late 1970s, the first lady of the United States said, “My makeup wasn’t smeared, I wasn’t disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?” But after the family intervention and a stint in rehab, Betty Ford publically admitted that she was addicted to alcohol and opiates.  Since then thousands of women have found the sobriety of Easter at the Betty Ford Clinic because she was the first to give witness to her proud flesh.

See and touch the Good News, resurrection always leaves a mark.  Resurrection always leaves a mark.

Don’t call him Thomas the Doubter, but Thomas the Revelator because he showed us where to look for Easter by demanding of Jesus, “Show me your scars.”