We met in the park on a bitterly cold Easter morning to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.
Our worship included contributions from most of those gathered, here are just a selection:
Stand in a close circle
Welcome friends to Third Space
Jesus is risen
All: He is risen indeed – Hallelujah
Widened the circle
Allow ourselves to feel at home here. Be yourself here, know you are accepted and loved here.
Take one more step back
We widen the circle to include a space for Jesus to speak to us at all times.
We widen the circle to what God wants to say to us in this place.
Turn to the west, north, south and east.
We pray a silent blessing on this place and on this town
Take one more step back
We widen the circle to include people in history. The saints and traditions of old. We remember, those who have nurtured us on our journey in life, those who have loved us and guided us. Those in the past who trod the roads, and brought the love of God to this town. We thank you for their wisdom, faith and endurance.
On this Easter morning with all who have follow Jesus from the beginning, with God and with friends, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Amen.
Resurrected with wounds.
After his resurrection, Jesus appears to be resurrected and yet wounded at the same time. This is the unexpected appearance of the Risen Jesus.
His resurrected body remains scarred. Thinking about this over the last few days I’ve found it very strange, surely we’d expect his resurrected body to be perfect, to be unscarred.
Then we find from reading the gospels that Jesus’ wounds are part of his identity. Because it’s by his wounds that his followers recognised him as Jesus. It is only by seeing his wounds and scars that Thomas is able identify Jesus as his Lord and his God. The brokenness of Jesus body seems to be a very important part of his identity, his wounds are part of who Jesus is.
So presumably we’ll also be resurrected with our wounds.
We all have wounds that are caused by sickness, by accidents, by the actions of others and by the problems and disappointments of life.
All of us are wounded. Even Jesus is wounded after his resurrection. Resurrection hope doesn’t seem to do away with our woundedness. By retaining the wounds of his torture and execution, is Jesus showing us that we can find hope and strength in him?
It seems to me that many Christians think faith requires denying the ways our bodies retain the scars of continued pain and injury; in our memories, in our struggles with illness and injury, in our despair over others’ apathy in the face of injustice.
The risen yet wounded Jesus wants to open our eyes to see the pain of others, the destruction of the earth due to our greed and foolishness, and our part in wounding others near and far. Jesus offers us a peace that recognises the hard reality of injury and hurt.
So our resurrection hope does not deny the reality of wounds. Jesus although resurrected with wounds is not disabled by them. That’s what I think he wants for us.
We can freely enter into his resurrection hope just as we are, wounds and all.
Our faith is in a God who is always with us in our woundedness.