Sermon summaries and audio files
Eckardtesian Thought: I think, therefore I write . . .
On Easter Sunday we learned of how difficult it was for the Eleven to believe that Jesus had truly risen from the dead. Today we hear of how difficult especially for Thomas it was. He was the lone holdout, who refused to believe it until he saw for himself the Sunday after Easter, inspecting the wounds, and then exulting, My Lord and My God. We might wonder why this was so difficult for them to believe, when we know they weren't like the Sadducees, who believed in no resurrection at all, of soul or body. But perhaps the strong influence of their culture was a factor, being infected with the teachings of Plato who was four hundred years earlier. Plato had taught a strong dualism which held that the spirit is good but the body is evil; death is the release of the soul at last from the bonds of the flesh which was discarded. And so also today, there is a strong cultural belief that at death we are released from the material world and fly off to heaven where we live forever, released from the body. This belief is so strong that it has lead countless theologians to hold that the reports of the resurrection were only the result of wishful thinking on the part of deeply grieving disciples. Not so! For the facts are that the disciples would not believe; their thinking, far from being wishful, was despondently stubborn in holding the resurrection in the body could not be so. But they soon learned, all of them, and so the fire of the faith was kindled in them and in the Christian Church for 2,000 years. This is our faith, to hold that Jesus rose in the flesh and so shall we. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Therefore let us respect our flesh, and flee from sexual immorality, and from the lusts of the flesh; let us live according to our awareness that this body shall rise and live forever at the last. And let us make the response of the earliest church our own: Alleluia! Christ is risen!, said Mary to the disciples; and two, returning from Emmaus, and the disciples themselves, reporting to Thomas: it's true, what Mary said! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Sermon for the Easter Octave. The video is here.