April 27

John 20:19-25

“After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” vs. 20

According to the gospels the resurrected Jesus had changed. He could bilocate, appear, disappear…the disciples never knew when he would show up.  In John’s account they didn’t know who he was until they had seen his hands and his side. The marks of his suffering were the proof of his living presence and kindled joy in their hearts. That’s a pattern that we see repeated again and again in the community of Christ. Closeness eludes us until we see the marks of suffering. When we hide our pain and disguise our wounds we remain disconnected from one another. But when the hurts ooze forth from our souls and our scars are finally revealed we recognize the indwelling Christ in the other and find joy in our unity. Until that happens we remains strangers on the journey, unable to bond beyond the superficial and mundane. But with the revealing of wounds comes the breath of the Spirit and we are drawn together in mutual love and forgiveness. As wounded believers we are then able to go into our broken world with a reconciling message that has the ring of authenticity for those who see and hear it. In our weakness we show our strength and Christ is made known.

Thought for the Day: How has my suffering shaped my witness?

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