I am still finding myself caught up in a moment from a couple of weeks ago, when we were asked by Revd Sam Corley to turn to John 22.
He waited for us to return our gaze, after finding the inevitable,
“There are missing chapters in these scriptures because people close doors.” He said.
At the end of John, Jesus is reconciled with Thomas – ‘Doubting’ Thomas who is perhaps the first theologian, who knows that a Risen Messiah will only mean anything if still marked with the wounds of his Passion – and Peter – Peter who has denied Jesus three times, who has doubted so many times before but finds confidence to return.
No such reconciliation comes for Judas. Judas who thinks he is moving things along and hangs himself from a tree. Judas, no more of a sinner than Thomas or Peter. Judas, whose story of reconciliation is never recorded, remains a missing chapter.
I’ve left this two weeks now, unsure what to say.
But I think perhaps that is the point. Scripture doesn’t shrink from its missing chapters.
Jesus ministers to Thomas with his wounds.
Here is a God who knows the heartache and pain of reconciliation. Who asks us to step into the same line of work, that others might end up with their own chapters in the Book of Life.