From Pain to Peace
Our scars tell stories - stories about what we have experienced, endured and even suffered. In verse 19 we read that though Jesus suddenly came and stood among the disciples - they did not “see” him until He showed them His scars. They recognised him by his scars.
“Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
During her most recent stay with us, my younger sister Anne was persuaded by "so called friends" in Dallas to share some stories of how her older brother had scarred her. She didn’t give much up. She did however tell the story of how by following me on a wintery afternoon she nearly lost sight in her eye due to a picket fence - her scar is thankfully covered by an eyebrow.
Our scars tell stories - stories about what we have experienced, endured and even suffered. They can also tell a greater story of how Jesus has identified with our suffering and how we have chosen to identify with His suffering that we might come to resurrected life in Him.
In his letters to Malcolm, C.S. Lewis writes beautifully that when we experience the bodily resurrection, our bodies will retain their scars. To the degree we have suffered the Father will infuse us with His glory so that our scars will be transformed into badges of glory. They will be marks that tell the story of how Christ in his death and Resurrection has enabled us to find new life that has brought redemption, restoration and healing. The power of the Gospel is that by Him, in Him and through Jesus the pain of our scars can be replaced with His peace.
He showed them his scars and the disciples were glad when they saw the lord. "Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” This peace isn’t merely the cessation of conflict or a kind of anaesthesia for pain - rather what Jesus is imparting them with, what he imparts to us, is the full healing restorative peace of God.
This Sunday will be one to remember - we have a host of baptisms taking place and a dear friend of All Saints is going to be preaching. Samira Page, founder of the Gateway of Grace will be preaching at both services. Her story is one not to be missed.
Rev Dave Larlee