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Easter 3 B~"Yet His Scars Remain" ~ Susan McGurgan, D.Min.

 


Kintsugi is the Japanese art

of finding and creating beauty from brokenness.  

In this process,

shattered pieces

of porcelain and pottery

are joined by lacquer

mixed with powdered gold

or silver

or platinum.

 

The broken parts become

even more prominent,

even more noticeable,

and each broken and restored vessel

carries a unique and haunting beauty.    

 

Kintsugi embraces the belief

that accepting flaws

and acknowledging imperfections,

allows us to create something

meaningful and valuable

from shards and scraps and jagged edges.   

 

Instead of discarding something broken

as worthless,

Kintsugi honors

the pain of breaking

and the joy of surviving.

In this process,  

scars remain

as a tangible witness  

to the power and grace of restoration.   

 

When Jesus appeared to the disciples

after the resurrection

he came among them

bearing his wounds.

Even in his resurrected body,

His pierced hands and feet

still carried the marks of torture.

His body continued to tell the story  

of human pain and vulnerability.  

He had been transformed,

glorified,

imbued with new life. 

 

Yet His scars remain.

 

In our eyes,

scars and wounds are ugly things,

sometimes even

shameful things—

Imperfections—

damages we long to erase

with lasers,

     and peels,  

          and collagen induction therapy.  

We employ plastic surgeons,

make-up artists,  

topical medications,

even strategic hair styles--

to minimize

or hide

the broken pieces we cannot quite mend.

We pretend,

ignore,

stuff down spackle over glitter bomb

those wounds that lurk deep inside,

in places only God can see.

 

Yet His scars remain.  

 

Our scars are reminders

of pain we prefer to forget.

They are legacies of difficult times,

     perilous journeys,

          dangerous mistakes.

They are mementos

of vulnerability or fear

that we deny or suppress.  

   

Yet His scars remain.  

 

Jesus appeared among the disciples,

bearing his wounds,

and proclaiming the news

that the pain of humanity

had become the pain of God.

Proclaiming the news that

wounds,

scars,

even death,

no longer hold power. 

 

Jesus appeared to them,

Resurrected,

Transformed,

bearing scars that remained visible

because his suffering

was an essential part of his story—

and ours.  

 

His wounds remained,

but they did not define him.

His scars endured,  

but they did not limit him.

His pierced flesh did not

bind him in anger

or trap him in a cycle of revenge.  

 

Rather, His wounds create meaning.

 

They witness to sacrificial love

and to the power of life over death.

They witness to restoration,

     Healing,

         Mercy.

Perhaps most important, 

His wounds invite us to find meaning  

amid our own brokenness.  

His wounds invite us to see discipleship  

as a journey that does not hide scars,

but rather, transforms them.

 

Jesus appeared to the disciples

so that he might teach,

heal,

reassure…

and send out in mission.

 

Thus it is written that the Christ would sufferand rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."

 

You are witnesses of these things.

 

In our work as witnesses,   

one of the most powerful things

we bring to this mission    

is our wounds.

 

How many people

have turned away from the Church

believing there is no place for them here,

because in our zeal to present our very best front,

all cleaned

  and scrubbed

    and perfect--

we send the unspoken message

that people cannot bring their frayed edges—

their thorns

    their splinters

         their trailing bandages

into the sanctuary?   

 

When we go out as witnesses,

we will find a deep brokenness

among the people we encounter.

People are lost and wandering on the margins

for reasons that often cut deep.

 

We will be led to places where people

walk barefoot across jagged shards of

sin,

fear,

illness,

remorse,

addiction,

loneliness—

We will enter places where people bear the scars

of trauma and loss.  

 

Our wounded witness can speak of a God

who also carried scars.

A God who did not run

from suffering and pain.  

Our witness can speak of a God

who shares our sorrow,  

who understands our loneliness,

who knows how it feels to be betrayed,

who carried the cross of persecution.   

 

Our own wounds will witness to the truth

that our scars need not define us,

bind us,

     limit us,

          trap us.

Rather, they can be taken up into Christ’s story,

and redeemed.  

And like Christ’s own wounds,

some of our scars will remain

as a tangible witness

to the transformative power of restoration.

 

Because Christ appeared wounded,  

we can share the Good News

that God continues to create something beautiful

and meaningful

and valuable

from the shattered pieces of our brokenness.   

 

You and I,

we are witnesses of these things.

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