Thursday, 16 April 2009

See for yourselves

Luke 24:35-48

The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
They were still talking about all this when he himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.
Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.

We have trouble believing anything these days so we can't feel too badly about the disciples. Actually that's not true - we can believe in lots of rubbish - ghost TV, fortune tellers, the Da Vinci Code and so did the disciples - their world was full of shades, spirits and demons.

And if they saw the Risen Christ then this was probably what they were expecting - a possessed body, something intangible, a shiver up and down their spine. But that wasn't what appeared before them. Christ appeared from nowhere but then spoke; and not only spoke but ate - real food that was given to him, not conjured up.

And still hard for the disciples to believe? Of course it is, it had never happened before, it was beyond belief - except it was true.

I am still overcome, more than halfway through Easter week now, how quietly and ordinarily Christ did this. This is the Resurrection - have you ever seen a painting or work of art that has treated this event so casually as Christ himself does? There's always light, clouds, angels, an exuberance of something - but when Christ does it - it's just him - him being the 'more than enough'.

That God would choose to spend a lifetime as a human being I can understand; we are meant to be his greatest works; I can imagine the joy he must have felt at experiencing the world he made.

That he then makes the next choice - to surrender and die - not a God thing to do, at all. The 'why ' of that is much harder to imagine. And that he did it for us? I am human, thinking like a God is a mystery to me.

That he then is resurrected as all he was, scars, wounds and all, still human , still Divine and can hold Time and Space in one hand, whilst eating fish with the other. Probably broken every God law that he ever made (but he's God - so that's ok). That's definitely a God thing to do - quite, quite beyond me and whilst I am inspired to spend hours meditating on it - I hope I never 'get' it.

Jesus the Nazarene is a man that I love, and I can see the God-ness in him as I can see the Charism in others. He is a teacher, a brother, someone I would love to sit by the campfire and eat with. That the Risen Christ, holds the All of Everything together yet wants to sit and eat with me?

I am beginning to feel that the Resurrection is a bit like one of those Faberge eggs that you see.
Lovely but a little plain on the outside, but inside .... bejewelled, dazzling, exquisite, beyond imagination into fascination - right where God should be.


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