Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 116; 147:12-20, 1 Samuel 16:14-17:11, Acts 10:17-33, Luke 24:36-53
After his resurrection, nobody seemed to recognize Jesus. Mary visited his tomb, and until he called her by name she thought he was the gardener. Cleopas and his wife walked and talked quite a way down the road with him and invited him to dinner, yet didn’t realize who he was until he blessed and broke the bread. He stood among the gathered disciples, who were in the middle of talking about him yet did not see him, then startled them by saying, “Peace be with you.” After rising from the dead, the Word-Made-Flesh seemed far more recognizable by his words than by his flesh. While we might expect a resurrected savior to virtually shine in glory and triumph, it seems Jesus was almost … unremarkable. His body still carried the scars of the cross, but it no longer bore the burden, the weight of the world’s salvation lifted from his shoulders.
That’s often how it is with Christ. Someone unremarkable – socially invisible perhaps – escapes our notice until Christ says, “I am here. See me. Break bread with me. Share peace with me.” Only then do we realize Christ is among us and waits to be served in a food pantry, visited in the hospital, invited to Bible study, welcomed as a refugee, or loved through a bout of mental illness. When Christ says whatever we do for the least of his brothers and sisters we do for him, he’s not speaking metaphorically.
We worship Christ. Write many beautiful songs about him. Raise extravagant monuments and cathedrals. Conquer nations and claim to do it in the glory of his name.
But that’s not what he asked us to do. That’s all us.
Christ can be seen in the beauty of God’s creation, but his word echoes among the suffering and the needy, the lost and the lonely, the broken and the bullied. It echoes among the merciful and the humble and the generous and the kind. Let’s listen for his voice, because he’s not always going to be where we’re looking. He calls us to look where he is waiting.
For thoughts on today’s passage from Acts, see A Bigger Pan.
Comfort: Christ is in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.
Challenge: Make a list of the things Christ asked us to do. At the end of each day for the next week, see how many you’ve done.
Prayer: O LORD I am your servant. Amen.
Discussion: In what unexpected places have you encountered Christ?
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