Vicar’s Reflection: Sunday 23rd April 2017, 2nd of Easter
It was like a mirror shattered when Thomas finally gave in to the reality of a risen Jesus. All that Thomas had believed to be true and certain; about himself, the world around him and what he thought of Jesus proved to be inadequate. The broken shards needed to be reassembled differently or even discarded because of this new reality. The circumstances of Jesus’ resurrection left no room for ‘alternative facts’: “Put your finger here; … Reach out your hand..” Thomas and all the first disciples experienced what the American physicist and philosopher, and name sake of the apostle, Thomas Kuhn, called a ‘paradigm shift’. His hugely influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) was written to explain what happens when a new scientific advance comes along to completely change the way we understand the world around us. His concept of paradigm shift has proven to be a useful and helpful concept in other disciplines including theology and spirituality, at first through the writings of Hans Küng. At its most shocking and basic we see the Apostle Thomas confronted with a resurrected Lord Jesus, one whom he knew to have died, and yet was now fully alive in a way that blew apart previous concepts of life and death. This was no fantasy, no dream nor hallucination. For Thomas and all who believe, the risen Jesus transforms our understanding of reality forever. Christ is risen: He is risen indeed!