21 December 2007

St. Thomas, Apostle

Today the Church remembers and thanks God for St. Thomas. Though a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus, Thomas wasn't quite sure about the message he received from the other ten that they had seen the Risen Lord. We usually think of Thomas as "doubting," but the text uses the word "unbelieving." And I wonder if it isn't best to keep the context in mind: Thomas wasn't doubting/unbelieving everything, but specifically that the other ten had seen the Risen Lord.

At any rate, we remember and honor St. Thomas because the Lord does lead him to confess the God-Man, Jesus Christ. What a great confession of the Divine-Human Savior Thomas makes when he says, "My Lord and my God"! And that just after he had poked his fingers and hands into Jesus' very open, fleshly wounds in His hands and His side. That wounded Man is truly God and Lord indeed.

So, we can thank God for Thomas because we see how He, our gracious Lord, handles our doubts and questions that undoubtedly creep up on us from time to time: He simply keeps revealing Himself to us; He lets us poke around and explore the wounds; He does bring us to confess Him as "Lord and God." It's no wonder that the Church as placed this feast so close to the celebration of the Christ-Mass. In just a few days we'll all get to hear and sing with great joy that our Lord and God is in the flesh and in the manger at Bethlehem!

Hymn Verse:
All praise, O Lord, for Thomas,
Whose short-lived doubtings prove
Your perfect twofold nature,
The fullness of Your love.
To all who live with questions
A steadfast faith afford;
And grant us grace to know You,
True man, yet God and Lord. (LSB, 517:6)

Collect for St. Thomas, Apostle
Almighty and ever-living God, You strengthened Your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in the resurrection of Your Son. Grant us such faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that we may never be found wanting in Your sight; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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