Hello Baysiders! Hope all is well in your souls so far in 2023! I am thrilled about what God is going to do for us and through us this year. I am still full from that delicious Brazilian BBQ we had with the our brothers and sisters from Catedral De Familia. Let’s pray for more of that deliciousness between us.
I know it’s early since it’s not Easter season but it’s not misplaced to talk about the resurrection of Jesus. I mean, it is the foundation of our faith and as Paul said, without it, our faith would be meaningless and we should be of all people most pitied. The Easter story is a gift that always keeps on giving no matter what season of life we find ourselves in. One of my favorite scenes from this meta narrative of our human existence is how Thomas is initially skeptical at first about believing Jesus truly was back from the grave. But honestly though, who can blame him? No one has ever done so like that before up to that point. This was physically impossible. Yet we see that Jesus is not upset or saddened with this doubt of his as He gives Thomas what he needs. Thomas declared that he wouldn’t believe unless he touched and examined the wounds and scars of Jesus. He needed empirical proof. And that’s what Jesus does; he gives him evidence to feel and touch which results in Thomas having faith! Jesus says in chapter 20:27, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” Notice what gives Thomas the evidence to believe and trust in Jesus as God is the scars and wounds.
I love how, even after his resurrection, Jesus chose to appear with wounds on his body. Ain’t that a strange picture? God, who is perfect, but yet has scars. He could have shown up with baby smooth skin but he doesn’t; instead he models something different for us. This is what the resurrected Jesus reveals to us about our humanity. The pain and trauma we have experienced are part of the Easter story God wants to share through you to others. God’s story is written in the scars. Perhaps new life, healing and positive change doesn’t come from ignoring our wounds and scars or by neglecting our humanity—but rather in participating with God as we embrace the pain of our stories. Jesus never covered his scars. The fact that Jesus openly revealed them to others should encourage the same for anyone who has experienced any type of wounding. However it is done, (therapy, counseling, a long chat on the phone with a friend, AA, online meetings, coffee with a pastor, etc.) wound sharing is resurrection power and how we become more like Jesus.
As a meme I once read said, “We repeat what we don’t repair. If you don’t heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” Jesus is offering us an invitation to be healed from the hurt we have and to stop the bloodshed; Jesus’ blood spilled on the cross was enough. He models for us what our hurt can turn into, something that is beautiful and powerful like a new day on Easter morning in a garden when Mary Magdalene saw the Risen Lord.
Maybe we too can have this power from our scars and wounds to lead people to newness of life. Maybe the past trauma you experienced as a child or teenager is not baggage to lump around but is the proof of God’s love and power in your life. Maybe not being embarrassed about your scars and wounds is the data people need to verify God’s resurrection. Easter is experienced more by showing your pain rather than a Bible verse or link to a sermon. Let’s invite others to read the resurrection that’s written in our scars.
Grace and peace (:^)