Bring a small mirror so you can find the scar on your forehead.
I’m very glad to see you today. Today in our story about Jesus, we’re going to hear something that sounds a bit odd. We hear every year the week following Easter – so you might remember it. It involves Jesus, all of his friends gathered in a room with the front doors locked, and a disciple of Jesus named Thomas. But before we get to the story about Jesus, we need to talk about some of our stories too. And to do that, I need this.
Show the mirror.
What’s this? A mirror! Right! And this is a small mirror that lets you might use to look at your face when you want to put on moisturizer or makeup or whatnot. But I’m using it today because I’m looking for something specific on my face…and…yep, there it is. You see up here, on my forehead and up to the left? That’s a big scar. It’s faded now – and blends into my skin – and it’s usually more noticeable in the summer when my skin is darker. But it’s there, a scar, that I’ve had for over 30 years. And I got this scar because, when I was little, younger than some of you right now, my brother and I were playing at our house. We were having fun. We put the pillows on the floor from the couch in a large circle. And we were jumping from pillow to pillow, round and round and round. My brother started to pretend to chase me and I was running from him and it was awesome…until it wasn’t. I don’t remember exactly what happened – either I tripped over the pillow or it slipped under me – either way, I know that I fell down and hit my head on the corner of a big stereo speaker. I cut my head pretty bad. It was scary and I hand to go to the hospital. The doctors and nurses took care of me, gave me a bunch of stitches, and I was better pretty quick. As the cut healed, it started to turn into a scar. The scar is a place where the wound we have is repaired but the tissue, the skin, ends up being a little different than before.
Over the years, that’s the biggest scar I’ve got. But I’ve got plenty of smaller ones too on my knees and fingers and arms and legs. Do you have any scars?
Share scar stories.
Now we end up with scars for a lot of different reasons. And every scar, I think, is a reminder of a challenge or situation or experience that we lived through. Even if we think that scar was caused by something we did or we’re ashamed of it or if we’re embarrassed about it – if we have a scar, that means we’ve lived through it; we’ve grown through it. A scar is a sign of what we’ve been through – and since a scar is full of new skin – each scar is a sign of how we can, no matter what we’ve gone through, we can still heal and become who we are supposed to be. And we also, regardless of that scar, deserve and will receive from God – love.
Jesus today is going to visit his friends when they are afraid. He’s going to walk into the room and come to his friend Thomas. Jesus is going to show Thomas his hands, feet, and the the side of his chest – the places where Jesus was hurt. But, unlike us when we get hurt, Jesus doesn’t have a scar in those places. Instead, he’s still wounded. His hurts are still apart of him. Everything Jesus went through is part of who he is. But his hurts, and his past, aren’t – with God’s help – the limit of who he, or us, will become. Your scars will always be apart of you. And you will carry different kinds of scars that others won’t be able to see. But no matter what your scars are – Jesus loves you. Jesus is with you. And Jesus, who himself still carries his own hurts, will help you become exactly who you are supposed to be.
Thank you for being here and I hope you have a blessed week.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 2nd Sunday of Easter, 4/8/2018.