Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Jesus said, “Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself.”
—Luke 24:40

Thursday in Easter week

How do the befuddled disciples know that the One who comes to them is their companion Jesus? They know because he shows them the marks of the crucifixion in his hands and feet. His risen body bears witness to what he has been through. All of those wounds are transformed in his rising; they are also still present as marks of identity. The Risen Christ invites the disciples to know him by looking at the indelible wounds.

Those wounds reveal God’s life to us. Many of us were raised with a kind of botched way of perceiving God. Our imaginations are plagued with an implacable, hostile figure, almost always a man with a beard, who is so angry with us that the only way to soften the anger was for Jesus to step in, take our place, and get killed. What kind of craziness is this?

It’s a theology that came from centuries ago. Ultimately it’s not an image of God that has anything to do with mercy or grace or kindness. Or woundedness, for that matter. As a friend of mine used to say, “I didn’t mind getting to know Jesus, but I sure didn’t want to meet his Daddy.”

Today, we’re offered a different way of perceiving this God who creates you, makes you new, asks you to join in the process of healing the world. In the Risen Christ, God invites us to see that those wounds are eternally a part of divine life. Christ’s wounds and our wounds—all are enclosed in the renewing love of God. What if God turns out to be this wounded Friend, this Mother and Father, this true Companion, instead of the incessantly irritable grump in the sky?

If you labor with an image of God as the harsh, unbending judge, allow your gaze to shift. See the transfigured wounds now marking Jesus in his risen life. Behold in him a different God—a God of mercy, a God of steadfast love, a God who will know wounding from the inside out.

For your willingness to be wounded for love of all, we give you thanks O Christ. Amen.