April 14, 2009

Looking Forward to April 19, 2009 -- 2nd Sunday of Easter

The Scripture Readings the week are:
  • From the Life of the Early Church: Acts 4:32-35
  • Psalm 126 (VU p.850)
  • From the Gospel: John 20:19-31
The Hymns this week are:
  • #402 We Are One
  • #352 I Danced in the Morning
  • MV #162 Christ Within Us Hidden (insert)
  • #312 Praise with Joy the World’s Creator
The Sermon Title is: Resurrected But Still Wounded

Early Thoughts: Why focus on the wounds? Why isn't a resurrected Christ freed from the wounds of crucifixion?

When many people look ahead to a new life, to the victory of resurrection over whatever is is in their lives that is death-dealing, they tend to have a utopian view. There is a hope tht when the new life comes the struggles and pains and woundedness of this world will be left behind.

But that isn't what our story says. In both Luke and John there is reference to the Risen Christ showing people the wounds in his hands and feet. And for much of Christian history we have had mystics who claim to bear the marks of the cross, the stigmata as a result of a mystical encounter with Christ. What's up tith this focus on the wounds?

Part of the focus in Christian thought has been that the wounds of Christ are tied to the salvation event. But I think that is only part. Part of the importance of the wounds in the appearance stories is to show that the Risen Christ is also the crucified JEsus. For those who read the GOspel story as a fact-based history it is also proof of a bodily resurrection. But again I find there is more to it.

No matter what happens we carry our wounds forward with us. THere are scars that never fully fade. THe choice is what we do with them. Do we huddle over our wounds and scars, nursing them and not getting over their causes? OR do we accept that they have happened and move forward into a new life? Do we learn from our wounds or do we allow our wounds to shape our whole being?

Resurrection is an event tht happens over and over in our lives if we let it. TO let resurrection happen we need to have a healthy approach to our wounds and sccars. Yes we learn from them. YEs they become a part of us. But if we truly embrace resurrection then we become more than we were. We are not our wounds. WE are not what we once were. THat is the challenge of being an Easter-people. We have to move beyond nursing our wounds, beyond wanting to have themm made all better and into the new place where we have a new relationship with those wounds.

SO everybody bring your wonds to the church and let us, as a community of wounded people, figure out how to live as resurrected people.

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