Wild Lectionary: Thomas, Bodies, Touch, and Violence

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Hold Fast by Thor (Creative Commons License)

Easter 2(B)
John 20:19-31

By Laurel Dykstra

“Doubting Thomas” it’s the name we call someone who demands hard evidence, who won’t accept what we say or who doesn’t share our beliefs.

There are all kinds opportunities in the church use that name against someone. All sorts of differences in the beliefs of faithful Christians: angels, auras, miracles, marriage, dinosaurs, women disciples, Adam and Eve, Noah, what prayer is, what happens during a sacrament, what salvation means, what parts of the creeds we say with confidence and, perhaps most pertinent here, how we understand the resurrection. Continue reading

Touch

touchTouch, however, is always ‘touchy.’ It crosses boundaries. In U.S. culture, we have a presumption against touch. ‘Look, but don’t touch’ describes behavior toward objects, but is also used to describe relations between people…. Jesus … allowed himself to be touched by the bleeding woman who reached him through the crowd and the woman anointer at Bethany. He received Judas’ ambiguous kiss and the violent soldiers’ blows. After his death women touched him, washed him, rubbed oil into his skin, and wrapped his body in linens. Even resurrected Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Touch me and see. No ghost has flesh and bones like this. — Rose Marie Berger