Graduate reflection from Alvin Tan

May 8, 2019

In Easter season, Alvin Tan preached for LEM on Thomas’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus. Here is an excerpt from his reflection:

Anyone can become disabled any time. And even if we identify as able-bodied, that is only temporary. Eventually, through the aging process, we lose some of our capabilities and we become fully disabled at the end of our life.

Jesus died. He was fully disabled. He was a victim of violence instigated by religious authorities allied to an abusive government.

And, if we claim that Jesus is God, then God was disabled by the power of a violent empire. This didn’t just happen once. This happens time and time again. Who are those in power today, and who are the people being disabled, disempowered, and disenfranchised?

...We fight the oppressive powers of this world – misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, able-ism, and racism – with gentleness, care, and compassion. I see tenderness in that moment between Jesus and Thomas, when Jesus invites Thomas to touch the mark of his wound.

In that tender moment, Thomas essentially says, “I believe you.”

And that’s what you say to a survivor of violence.