When I read the lectionary passage from the Gospel of John for this week, I scratched my head. This week's text is the third of the "bread passages" in our lectionary cycle. There is a lot of bread this summer. And it's about now that many preachers and congregants start asking, "Bread, again?"
The would-be prophet cowers before the throne and whimpers, "Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips." No posturing. No preachiness. No self-righteousness.
Sin is not about breaking rules. Rather, it is resistance to the creative power of God. Those who thought that they were on the side of God are revealed to be profoundly wrong. We might even call them hypocrites.
Thomas is not to blame for this label. He made a reasonable statement in an unreasonable, once-in-a-lifetime resurrection situation. What's fascinating is how comfortable we are in letting Thomas be so trapped.
For some Christians, the radical accessibility of God in all arenas of life is consistent with an expectation that politicians wear religious commitments on their sleeves. For others, membership in a pluralistic society demands more humility and tolerance.
The fear about exposure and judgment comes to white-hot focus in a remarkable biblical story, told early in the Gospel of John, about an investigative team dispatched from the capital city to interrogate an enigmatic preacher.
We're obsessed in today's world with facts. Every syllable uttered by people in positions of power is put under a microscope, and we, the general public, love nothing more than to have subterfuge reveal in the media spotlight.