“Peace be with you” doesn't do the trick. “Look at my hands and feet” doesn't dispel disbelief. Even touch me and see doesn't get a “My Lord and my God!” But eat a piece of broiled fish and maybe the impossible will seem more plausible to doubting disciples. In the every day necessity of nourishment the crucified, dead and buried Messiah is accepted as really resurrected. It is the final and most intimate act of the incarnation that the One who rose beyond the boundaries of death and life entered this realm again to share a morsel with those still bound by mortality so that seeing would be believing. In that sense “have you anything here to eat?” might be the most grace filled words ever spoken by Jesus.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
1 John 3:1-7
There is no way around it. Since we all sin we are all guilty of lawlessness even though in the love the Father has given us we are children of God now and when Jesus is revealed we will be like Him. That means even as children of God we do not abide in God or know God or see God by virtue of our rebellious nature. But then John will go on to say, “This is love: not that we loved God but that God loved us…” (1 John 4:10) So the ultimate consequence of our lawlessness is that God loves those who do not love in equal measure but who purify themselves with the hope that when we do see Him as He is Jesus will not see us as we are but what we were always meant to be.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
It is only when one stops loving illusions and living lies that one can see the wonders God desires to do for the faithful – and everyone else for that matter. Easier said than done. The trouble with illusions and lies is that they cleverly hide the truth so that even when we know the lie of the illusion is a sleight of hand we ask to see it again albeit more slowly this time. We are fascinated by a good trick and nothing is as tricky as a lie we live with so long that it feels so familiar it no longer appears to be an illusion. But one of the wonders God does for the faithful is to shatter the comfortable illusion with distress so that sooner or later one cries out for mercy. That is good news even if it feels less than that for while the truth is not as seductive as the illusion it gives one something living a lie cannot – a peaceful night’s rest where the truth of God’s love promises rest that is secure.
Monday, April 13, 2015
The scene that precedes Peter’s speech to “You Israelites” is the healing of the lame beggar at the temple gate. “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6) Now I’m sure there were some Israelites in the crowd who had not called out “crucify” and so they can hardly be held responsible for killing the “Author of life”. And even if Peter claims it as Gospel truth Pilate never intended to let the peasant preacher go free. Furthermore Peter and all the disciples deserted Jesus in his most desperate hour. But maybe Peter has forgotten his rejection of the Holy One in the courtyard. “I tell you I do not know the man!” Then again maybe being Holy Spirit anointed and preaching on Pentecost and becoming God’s agent for “lame man walking” means you forget the ways you acted in ignorance. No matter. The truth of the speech is that God will wipe the slate clean for deniers and betrayers and those who cry crucify because that is the nature of the God who desires “all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”. (1 Timothy 2:4) So turn to the One who is continually turning towards you that your ways of denying and betraying and crying crucify might be wiped clean.
Friday, April 10, 2015
In the Gospel of John believing is seeing. We can speculate as to Thomas’s whereabouts that first day of the week but his absence is for our benefit as we who have no hope of seeing, let alone touching. nail scarred hands or spear pierced side are blessed by believing none-the-less. I don’t know if my “not seeing” believing is due to childhood indoctrination – my guess is I’ll be a cradle to grave Christian – or because the story continues to capture my imagination and stir my soul, but for whatever reason I have attached my life to Jesus and even when I fail to live the life in his name I trust Jesus’ life is somehow lived in mine.