We’re a week on from Easter, and today is widely known as ‘Low Sunday’. Why? Simply because it’s so different from Easter’s great feast. After all its joyous celebration, an ordinary Sunday is a bit of a come-down. And – sad to say –in normal times church congregations may dwindle today to half of what they were last week. But miss today, and you miss one of the really important moments in the Easter story.
For Easter isn’t simply about Mary Magdalene meeting the risen Jesus in the early-morning garden. It’s also about what happened next, what events that Easter morning led to. In today’s Gospel, the disciple we know as ‘doubting Thomas’ can’t accept the reality of the Resurrection unless he is given personal, empirical proof. He just won’t take it on trust. But when he is confronted by the risen Jesus, it is Thomas – and not one of the other disciples – who makes the first declaration of Easter faith: he addresses Jesus as ‘My Lord and my God’.
Without that faith, there would be no worldwide Christian Church. Without it, the life and teaching of Jesus would have been forgotten. Without it, there would be no Christ Church in Fairwarp. And we certainly wouldn’t have the building scaffolded to sort out its masonry, so that it can stand into the future as a witness to the same risen Jesus. Work begins on the tower tomorrow…