Today's Lectionary Text
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Fun Night was Millwood Elementary School’s answer to fund raising. Each classroom was transformed into an activity booth. My favorite was the first aid booth.
The first aid booth was supplied with torn up white sheets of various sizes and red paint to resemble blood. We would enter the booth, telling the moms who ran it exactly what injury we wanted. Some kids left with their heads wrapped in white bandages, or with their leg or hand wrapped and blood-stained. My request was to have a broken arm. I was fixed up with a sling and merrily went on my way.
As a kid, the idea of having an injury was like a badge of honor. When Randy Bowers broke his finger in second grade, I would pretend to have a broken finger. We had kids at school who were visually impaired and kids who wore braces on their legs. I didn’t feel sorry for them as much as I felt a unique admiration for them.
As life moves on, we all suffer injury; some to our bodies and some to our spirits. As adults we tend to want to hide our wounds. We pretend they don’t exist. We cover them up or use them as an excuse to live with anger.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, they didn’t recognize him until he showed them his injuries. Upon viewing his wounds, they believed Christ had risen.
Maybe we should all wear our injuries with pride. Maybe we should be more willing to reveal our scars and our heartbreaks. Perhaps then we would learn to look at each other with unique admiration. Perhaps then we would witness the power of resurrection and receive God’s peace.
-Rev. Barbara McLain
Prayer for Reflection
Bless, O Lord, even our woundedness and abnormalities. Through broken flesh and spilled blood people recognized our risen Lord. May our own brokenness reveal the power of resurrection that our spirits might receive your peace. Amen.
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