Easter Life: Incarnation
Dear friends and members of St. Matt's,
I wrote to you earlier in the week that these 50 days of Easter invite us into a special kind of joy, a new kind of life. On Tuesday night, at Compline, I shared a piece of a reflection that I've carried with me for the last several years. It's a piece that Barbara Brown Taylor wrote in 2005 about what it means for us to incarnate our faith. And I talked briefly in my reflection about what it means for us to incarnate Easter joy, to carry the hope of the resurrection in our own bodies.
In the Gospel passage for today (Thursday in Easter Week), Jesus appears to the disciples who struggle to believe that he's real. So he says to them, "Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." So, they touch him. And they try to wrap their heads around what they're seeing. And then Jesus asks them if they have something to eat, they give him a broiled piece of fish, and he eats it in front of them.
This story appears in Luke's Gospel (in part) because it's very important to the apostles and to the early church that we understand that Jesus was not a ghost. He had a body, changed after the resurrection, but a body all the same. A body that could be seen and touched, a body that could eat and share in the life of the community. We know that he is changed after the resurrection, and while we don't know quite how - what we do know is that he is still present in the resurrection in concrete, corporeal, meaningful ways.
What Barbara Brown Taylor suggests in her piece (which you can read here - and you should!) is that Jesus is constantly giving us ways to embody Jesus' word and to grow in our faith. What I'm suggesting is that especially in this season, that should be about joy. You, by virtue of your baptism, are a member of the spiritual and physical Body of Christ in the world. You are Jesus' hands and feet. You are the enfleshed Word of God. And even now, even given this distance, even despite everything that is going on in the world - there is joy for you to know in your heart and in your body. What joy can you know, take in, and share in this season?
Take a look through our e-news this week. Our life continues to be full and vibrant. And there are many resources if you need help. Please be in touch if you need anything. Or just to let me know how you are. God bless you and keep you.