Sunday, April 11, 2010

Peace and Pain

"Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” - John 20 "Peace be with you"... Peace is what we all long for, deep down. Often we imagine it lies on some white sandy shore or on the winning side of a Powerball ticket. But ironically, peace is often found not in the absence of sorrows and responsibilities but in the quiet acceptance of them. So often, it's in the still center, the eye of the storm, where there is peace. The story of Thomas above is a powerful reminder of this truth. Jesus returns. He is glorious, alive, healed. But he has scars. Good Friday cannot be separated from Easter Sunday. Incidentally, it's been said that there is only one man-made thing in Heaven: Christ's wounds. What a sobering thought. Christians are not living in a fantasy world. Dreaming up pipe dreams. Walks through rose gardens. In the immortal words of Guns 'n Roses, we know that "every rose has its thorn..." Unconditional Love, the force that Jesus unleashed upon the world by his life and death, is a curious mix of pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow. So even in the midst of that first Easter, that shockingly beautiful, scandalously incredible, dream of all dreams miracle of the Master's return from Death, there was death's reminder. Scarred hands. A pierced and open side. So let's not deceive ourselves. Love is pain. Love hurts. Peace has a price. Without this wound of Love could we ever peer in and behold the very real, beating and pleading Heart of our incarnate God?
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