The Bible tells the story of God’s relationship with God’s creation, the Divine action in the world.
From the beginning, when God spoke creation into being, to the end, when God will recreate the new heavens and the new earth, and all will be brought to perfection, the protagonist of the story is God.
We sometimes tend to tell the stories as though they are all about us. Especially in those illustrated children’s Bibles – because how would you draw God? – we tell the stories of David and Goliath, of Gideon, of Samson and Samuel, Susannah and Esther, and they are great stories.
But Abraham’s journey out of Ur began because God called him. The story of Moses was the story of God’s providential care, rescuing the people from slavery, feeding them in the desert, leading them through the wilderness to a place of plenty. The stories of the prophets were the stories that God told them. The story of Jesus was the story of God’s love for all that God had made, of God’s birth into creation, to redeem it, to bind it even more closely to God’s own self, to reconcile us with God.
So the story we tell of Thomas is not so much a story of Thomas’ doubt, or rationalization, reluctance, or fear; rather, it is the story of the Risen Christ coming back for the last lost lamb, making sure that those whom he loved had what they needed to carry on; had what they needed to believe, trust, to love one another and spread the gospel as he had commanded.
to be continued…
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A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing, by Rosalind C Hughes, is available from Upper Room Books.https://bookstore.upperroom.org/Products/1921/a-family-like-mine.aspx