Everything vanishes so quick. Our body is gobbled up by the earth. Our memories are devoured by time. Time diminishes our physical gifts. If dementia sets in, we're eventually deprived of breathing, feeding, imagination, and desire. But does this create a sense of urgency in us? Or do we allow ourselves to get distracted by pleasure, pain, fear, joy, and vanity? Are we obsessed with cheap, shoddy, perishable things?
Our mind is a whirligig. Our body rots. Everything streams away from us like a river. Life is like a dream or a delusion. We feel like a stranger in a strange land. So why waste time worrying about pleasure and pain? Why worry about what so-and-so's doing? We can't control their decisions.
Why not be straightforward, kind, and helpful instead? Why not admit that most of our sufferings and tragedies are the consequences of our decisions? Here, we won't play the victim. We're honest with ourselves. But instead, we're unwilling, selfish, uncritical, and conflicted about our motives. We're never satisfied with ourselves, others, and God.
Our scars are a reminder that salvation is all gift.
Knowing this, if we had a chance to live another life, would we take it? What if we got a new life, but we also had to take all of us home? All our fears, joys, dreams, delusions, pleasures, and pain go with us. That's what Jesus offers us. A new life with glorious scars.
Our scars are a reminder that salvation is all gift. Jesus doesn't reject one sliver of our personal history. He heals all of us. We don't have to be like the nine lepers who go home, acting like their leprosy never happened. Instead, we get to live like a Samaritan. Jesus gave life back to him. He didn't push it to the back of a closet where he can forget about it.
With Jesus, we're free to see ourselves whole, shattered, dead, risen, rejected, accepted, a leper, and cleansed. Whether we're alone or in prison, Jesus gives us a new life.
Even if we're tied down and in danger, there's a way out. Even if we push ourselves to the edge and feel like jumping, it'll pass. Even when we push ourselves underwater and stop breathing, Jesus folds our life into his like crashing waves upon a beach.
With Jesus, every day has a new beginning, and the start of the ending. We won't die from cupid's arrows or a broken heart. We're not just broken, we're healed by the grace of Christ. We can scrape the bottom, tear down everything around us, and feel all alone in a crowd. Jesus stays with us. He sees us through. That is his baptismal promise to us: when we're faithless, he's faithful because he can't deny himself.
Everything vanishes so quick. Our body is gobbled up by the earth. Our memories are devoured by time. If dementia sets in, we're eventually deprived of happiness, imagination, and desire. But, this doesn't create a sense of urgency in us. Instead, we let ourselves get distracted by pleasure, pain, fear, joy, and vanity. We're obsessed with cheap, shoddy, perishable things. But, there's something more, someone, who is more than all of that.
They are not our scars anymore. Jesus heals us by making them his scars. That's why they're glorious.
We don't have to wonder what God is going to say or do or what he thinks. Jesus has only his Father's work to fulfill. He comes to heal us and claim all of us for himself. At home or out-and-about, day or night, alone or in a crowd, he's with us. His Word and Spirit are always with us. His baptismal promises are written onto our mind, tongue, and heart.
That's what Jesus does for us. He gives us a baptized mind, tongue, and heart. A new life with glorious scars. But, they're not our scars anymore. Jesus heals us by making them his scars. That's why they're glorious. Our scars aren't ours anymore. Look instead at his nail-punctured hands and pierced side. There are our scars. That's why the prophet says, "By his wounds, you are healed” (Isa 53:5).
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