JOHN 20:19-31 EASTER OCTAVE : E=MC2
WORD 4 CHILDREN
- Does anyone of you have a Nickname? Name other than your Given Name?
- Do you know someone with a nickname?
Nicknames: Cute Best Friend Nicknames & Funny Best Friend Nicknames
Mouse, Munchkin, Bee, Bug, Chipmunk, Cutie Pie, Buttercup Nugget, Teacup, Oldie, Shortie, Kiddo, Smarty, Scout, Ace, Punk, Rambo, Bond, Giggles, Speedy, Smiley, Rapunzel, Boo…
Why were these names given? >>> Usually because of one aspect of their personality or body.
I had a friend from elementary school with the nickname, Tubby! I met him 20 years later: “Hi Tubby!” I said. His wife looked at me and then at him. “Tubby” she asked him? Then I realized why she was confused: Many years ago his body shape was much different! Then, more rounded, but now, twenty years later, It would be totally inappropriate, as he was now skinny!
I realized that nicknames are mostly not a good way to describe someone’s identity!
The Doubting Thomas!
- Have you ever heard the nickname: ‘Doubting Thomas’?
Although it is not used in the Bible, the nickname “Doubting Thomas” was given to the disciple “THOMAS” because of his disbelief in the resurrection of Jesus. He doubted the resurrection until the Lord appeared to Thomas and invited him to touch his wounds and see for himself.
Today, people who are skeptical are sometimes referred to as a “Doubting Thomas.”
Thomas also had other name: In three of the times Thomas is mentioned, the Bible notes that he was called Didymos, a Greek word meaning “twin”. It may surprise you to learn that the modern name “Thomas” comes from the Aramaic word tĕʾomâ, which means . . . “twin.”
Yup. The Apostle Thomas doesn’t even have an actual name in the Bible. Everyone just refers to him as “the twin.” Interestingly, tĕʾomâ is just a description in Aramaic—it doesn’t appear to be used as a name—but Didymus was used as both a description and a name. Poor guy.
There are two important stories about Thomas in the Gospel of John.
1 One (in John 11:16) shows his courage and loyalty to Jesus: When Jesus’ life was at risk by returning to Judea, the Apostle Thomas courageously told his fellow disciples they should go with Jesus, no matter what the danger (John 11:16).
2 The other story (in John 20) reveals his human struggle with doubt.
We know that after Jesus’ ascension, he became a Christian missionary! Acts & Church tradition holds that Thomas carried the gospel message to the east and was eventually martyred for his faith.
After seeing Jesus, Thomas confessed to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
SO, His real, truest name is CHILD OF GOD!
- That is also your real name: your truest name: Tell each one: “You are Child of God”
Lord Jesus thank you for knowing us by our true name: Child of God!
In philosophy, systems theory, science, theology and art, the word “emergence” occurs when an entity is observed to have properties its parts do not have on their own; properties or behaviors emerge only when the parts interact in a wider whole. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!
Snowflakes are good examples of emergence in a physical system: On its own water doesn’t have the properties of the beautiful cristal patterns that you find in snowflakes. But with the right conditions new complex symmetrical and fractal patterns emerges!
This concept of emergence dates from at least the time of Aristotle. Scientists and philosophers have written about the concept.
The theology of the Gospel of John can be compared to an emergent formula:
When what is BELOW meets the ABOVE, NEW LIFE emerges…. something totally new! The template is given in John 2 with the Wedding at Cana:
• The water meets the divinity of Jesus and it is transformed into WINE!
• Nicodemus meets Jesus and he is born anew!
• The pattern is repeated throughout the Gospel. The highlight is when the dead body of Jesus is resurrected by the Creator. What emerges is not just the old body of Jesus, nor just a ghost or spirit, but a totally transformed life!
Albert Einstein’s THEORY OF SPECIAL RELATIVITY is an equally good metaphor for how God transforms matter: E = MC2. E = Energy. M = Matter. For speed of Light C. Ordinary Matter, at the speed of Light is transformed into enormous Energy!!!! Matter, meeting Light is Energy! (READ C = Christ’s death and resurrection)
With John’s account of the Resurrection, there was an energy that flowed through Jesus. It was like wind blowing, like water running, like a light shining in, that came out of him with a power that was able to transform the consciousness of people.
John is emphasizing that the veil Between Heaven and Earth had been torn open so that things really happened on the physical level. John is unveiling a new reality.
He is describing the marriage of Heaven and Earth through the death and resurrection of Jesus, with that tremendous release of spiritual energy in the material world.
“A PSALM OF E=MC2 EASTER”
Brother Einstein’s Easter Law
delights my hopeful heart
which wishes to never die.
For that quantum equation maintains
that matter taken to the speed of light squared is turned into pure energy again.
My body, so subject to sickness,
to aging and death’s cold bite,
is a companion human body of Christ who encountered the kiss of death upon Good Friday’s consecrated cross.
The lifeless matter of his once vibrant body was carried away to the grave,
condemned to become a worm’s decaying dinner.
Yet, you who are Life could not stand to see your beloved’s body decay,
so you carried out once again
your first and awesome act of creation.
You reanimated the matter of his body
and moved its molecules
at more than the speed of light,
and it was again transformed
into the Light of Lights,
into pure eternal energy.
In your infinite design
it only changes form,
until it finally and forever changes
into your form,
into the energy of the light of love divine.
Take hope, my heart,
be firm, my feeble faith,
for the matter of the flesh-and-bone I call me
will also become an Einstein Easter Event.
Receiving LIFE through Christ is the purpose of the Gospel of John: John 20:31 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.
It is all about Life! EXAMPLES :
John 1.4: in him was life,* and the life was the light of all people.
John 3.15: that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
John 6.33: For the bread of God is that which* comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’
John 6.35: Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life
John 6.53: So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
John 6.63: It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
John 8.12: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’
John 11.25: Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.* Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,
John 14.6: Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
What an awesome concept of Life emerging in the presence of the risen Christ!
With this formula; when the ABOVE meets the BELOW, the new bright Light of new Life emerges!
John tells us that this new life was called “resurrection”(anasasis). The power of raising up and rising up. It was the energy of Love transforming and calling people out of their ego-centricity into a new awareness.
Jesus said again and again that the very center of his teaching is that the energy of the Resurrection is the “Father who sent me”. The resurrection was the love of God flowing through him.
His disciples continued to experience this energy of Resurrection: now, in the present moment. Receiving it by remembering Jesus himself, the Source out of which it flowed. And this remembering was not by casting the mind back to the past, but by unveiling that He is present in the depths of now!
The invitation is to BELIEVE that this formula is true: When Christ (above) meets our ordinary matter(below) we are transformed to new life! The ETERNAL NOW Life! That is what eternal life means.
Believing this new Life transformed is not always easy!
Does Above meet Below EQUALS SIGN (=) or is NOT EQUALS emergent Life?
BUT it is not so easy to believe and accept the possibility of this Emergent Life and Energy! We see this in numerous stories after the resurrection of Jesus:
Matt 28:17 (After the resurrection with many appearances and witnesses)
When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
Mark 16:11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
Mark 16:12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
Luke 24:11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
Jn 20:25 ‘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.’
It seems that the problem is that people see or hear that Jesus is alive, but still do not believe!!!
Let us admit, there is a terrible possibility that you
- may be surrounded by the mighty presence of God, but do not notice it;
- that you can be radiated with a light glow but it feels as if you are in a dark night.
It seems like it was not only the doors of the room, where the disciples were, that were locked, but also their minds and hearts. They were afraid of pain and guilt.
Throughout the ages, believers struggled to believe!
The term Easter Octave refers to the eight days (the number of notes in an Octave) that begins on Easter Sunday and lasts until the Sunday after Easter. The period has been celebrated through the centuries with music.
One would think that the music used to be written in a major cords about triumph, victory, strength, and courage. But interestingly, many of the songs are composed in the minor key. Some music even has a touch of sadness and uncertainty in it. (D – Minor > Saddest)
At first glance, it does not sound right! The resurrection is all about life, joy, power, and victory.
Of course, it is easier for people to believe that Jesus was crucified. Extra-biblical sources even historically confirm this. But to believe that Jesus has risen, that God is a living God, requires faith! (not, reason and facts!)
Thomas and many other believers struggled to believe! The disciples were confronted with facts. The women witnessed with the certainty of Jesus’ resurrection. And they did not believe it. Even when they saw Him right in front of them, the third time, some still doubted! Is the evidence not enough? Thomas said he needed to see and touch His wounds.
How did Jesus respond to fearful, doubting believers???
The Below was infiltrated by the ABOVE!
Jesus came and stood in the middle of them and said: “Peace be with you.”
And again, as in the rest of John, it was not an ordinary physical event because he came through locked doors. Nor did the disciples see a ghost. Jesus was present in a new form! What is happening does not fit the categories in which we usually think.
Jesus calls Mary by her name: Mary!
In a unique way, He appears to Thomas and later to Peter.
He walks with the Emmaus wayfarers and opens their eyes at the table.
They do not see Jesus, but Jesus sees them!
They do not see God, But God sees them!
They experience that God is absent, yet God is present!
Thomas doubts, Jesus reveals
Genesis 16:13b Hagar (Hey gar) says: “‘You are the God who sees me.’…‘Have I truly seen the One who sees me?’” (NLT)
Then faith appeared! Faith is not something I can force. It is opening up to the possibility that God sees me and that God is present.
FAITH is an empty hand that expects everything from God.
FAITH is to receive what God gives and make it your own.
FAITH is to yield to the movement of God in me and through me.
FAITH is to accept what God gifts.
FAITH is to live from God’s gifts, trusting God gave you what you need.
This is the heart of the Gospel. I do not awaken the presence of God through a series of spiritual rituals. I let go into God’s eternal presence. I give way and open up to the powerful current flowing through me.
Many think seeing is believing …. But seeing is not! Believing is seeing! Your eyes of faith let you see.
To experience Jesus alive in your life, you must look with eyes of faith! With your inner consciousness opening to the presence of God in you and around you. Suddenly there comes depth in your life.
Julian Müller: ” The resurrection understood correctly, brings you to the humble but joyful discovery that you are also included in the long line of people to whom the Risen One appears in many ways.”
Be open to the surprising encounters with God in places least expected. God calls you by your name through people around you, who are then encountered by Him.
Stephen Verney, in the book Water into Wine, tells a story from his own life in his meditation on this text:
Shortly before my first wife died of cancer. She had an operation on her pituitary gland. As a result, she felt that she had lost her inner spring of energy and she used to say: ”They have taken away my horse.”
After she died, the children and I went together to have a week’s holiday and a place where we had gone every year as a family. We were walking around the cliffs and suddenly I saw, two fields away, a horse grazing.
I have walked those around Cliffs, almost every year of my life and I’ve never seen a horse in that field before. And I have never seen it since. The horse raised her head, saw us, started whining, and galloped across the two fields through a gap in the wall all the way to us. She was a mare in foal.
She pushed her muzzle over the fence and snuffed us with delight.
I cannot say it was as though it was my wife had come to greet us. The experience was far more powerful than that. I knew that she had come to greet us. And that she was saying: “Look, I’ve got my horse back and I’m so happy you are here on holiday.” This event opened up within me certain insights about Resurrection.
Suddenly the new life bursts through so that we look with fresh eyes!
As Frederick Buechner has put it in “The Magnificent Defeat “: “The sacred moments, the moments of miracle, are often everyday moments, the moments which, if we do not look with more than our eyes or listen with more than our ears, reveal only …. the gardener, the stranger coming down the road behind us, a meal like any other meal. But if we look with hearts of faith, if we listen with all of our being and our imagination – if we live our lives not from vacation to vacation, from escape to escape, but from one miracle of one instant of our precious lives to the miracle of the next – what we may see is Jesus himself. “
When your TODO-list lies before you like a mountain; the worries, children, parents, relationships, marriage, academics, emotional challenges;…. It can feel like deep darkness but just underneath that, like a throb of bass you feel in your chest, I feel a whole other thing going on. In the midst of work, emails, and rushing around, there is something sacred dipping and weaving like a firefly, like a great song. And it reminds you that the sacred mixes in with the daily. It is still just a typical day, but there is something bigger going on too “.
For those who feel this way, a light has risen, an eternal light that says that God’s mighty presence is with you. God does not sit as a silent statue on a stone throne, is not passive or static or dead. God is dynamic, too dynamic to be trapped in the dark! The light shines in the darkness, the darkness could not extinguish it (John 1: 5) No matter how dark your night might be, … the sun of salvation shines with healing in its rays … (Mal. 4: 2).
God assures you that God will continue to shine His light in and over your life. That God will continue to interfere in your life so that your life mixes with God and your life can reflect something of God’s light!
Jesus breathed upon them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit, he is giving himself and the disciples have to let go and receive as he did.
Blow X Above = LIFE! (Breath of God as in the first creation story!)
E = MC2. Emergent Eternal life = BELOW X ABOVE….Jesus Christ the Lord!
AN EMMAUS PSALM
How easily, O Christ,
do I long for a firsthand touch
from you, my friend and savior,
risen and glorious, victorious over death, radiant with luminous life.
Oh, how easily does my yearning arise
to have been one of those in the upper room when you returned in resurrected form.
I know that my faith would be strong
if, like Mary in the garden,
I had reached out to hug your living presence on Easter morning.
I do not doubt the quality of my zeal
had I broken bread with you
at the sunset inn on the Emmaus road.
It’s not easy to be among the living faithful
fed by second-hand accounts
of your resurrection visits,
even though they have been passed on with loving care for milleniums mouth-to-mouth.
But I take hope today, in this Easter season, that I too can taste and feel
your fulfilled promise:
“I am with you always, even to the end.”
Every time I break bread with friends or strangers or encounter kindness on my daily byroads, when I am visited by you
even though my inner doors are locked in fear,
let my heart be as open as the horizon
for the feast of an Easter visit
from you, my Risen Savior.
*** Hear O Lord as we pray for
O Risen Lord, the way, the truth and the life,
make us faithful followers of the spirit of your resurrection.
Grant that we may be inwardly renewed;
dying to ourselves in order that you may live in us.
May our lives serve as signs of the transforming power of your love
Use us as your instruments for the renewal of society,
bring your life and love to all and leading them to your Church.
This we ask of you, Lord Jesus,
living and reigning with the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever. Amen
May the beauty of God
amaze us with joy.
May the oneness of God
Keep us balanced and free.
May the Goodness of God
Give us courage and strength.
May God’s coming in Christ
Hold us in Light and in dark.
May the dying of Christ
Lead us in Light
May the Rising of Christ
Remake us in Light
May the Wisdom of the Word
Make us supple and kind.
May the truth of God’s Spirit
Tend the place of our hearts.
May the Mystery of Gods dream
Draw us to DO and to BE.
And may the Blessing of God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Shape our lives now
And in all times to come.