Not all break-ins are illegal. But they’re all surprising. Just so with The God who came to earth and walked among us. What follows is an excerpt from Sunday’s sermon reflecting on Jesus coming to his disciples after his own death, risen but scarred.
In the Gospel of Luke, we read perhaps the weirdest promise ever made . . . here I am, proclaimed the dead one now living. Look at me . . . touch me . . . eat with me . . . believe in me . . . but even more, believe me . . .
So Jesus, wounded, just-from-the-grave, Jesus, tells them – the spirit-wounded, sad-hearted, broken followers of no leader – here I am. Touch me as I have touched you.
That day, that moment, their doubt, their uncertainty, their disappointment, was not, I believe, in themselves . . . it was in him – the one they gave up everything to follow.
I can just hear the musings of their minds –
I was doing fine as a fisherman. How grand he was with all his talk: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” I did follow and now I fish for nothing. What do I do now?
Tax collecting was a good living for me. And at least I had my other tax collecting friends. Who do I have now?
Where will we go now?
What will we do . . . now?
Whom shall we follow . . . now?
And there he was . . . right in front of them . . .
And he was the same as always . . . but not . . . for now he had walked through the valley of the shadow . . . and he had the scars to prove it . . .
And herein lies the “T” hard but oh-so-important truth of the Gospel . . . our God lives . . . and living, our God carries scars – the marks of wounding . . . the reality of the cost of our brokenness imprinted on his hands and feet – not as some perpetual sign of our guilt, but as the reality of the cost of brokenness and the enormity of a love that would bear it.
The cost of the brokennes of the world was the very life of God . . . the enormity of God’s love is that God would bear that cost.
Just as it is with us, God’s scars are permanent – they will never go away.
But just as with God, our scars can be borne and transformed. And we and our world will never be the same, for the Dawn of Love has come among us and we are set free.