Our pastor is in Europe on sabbatical, and it’s about time. This makes twenty years that Scott has been at First Baptist and his first real chunk of time away.
Thanks to a Lilly Endowment Grant, he and Joanne have been on a pilgrimage through England, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria and now Italy to study the relationship between art and worship. The grant has also made possible a series of weekend workshops at our church, led by professional artists and open to the public. The second of them is scheduled for this afternoon and I’ve been looking forward to it.
A work that has interested Scott in particular is Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, shown below. As it’s about a week after Easter, now is a good time to post this because several days had elapsed between Christ’s resurrection and when Thomas finally saw for himself.
The story behind the painting:
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
—John 20:24-29, English Standard Version