This Sunday's texts are here
As the Great Fifty Days continues, the disciples are still scratching their heads and trying to make sense of it all...and I would hazard a guess that there are some who will hear our words on Sunday who are every bit as baffled.
Yesterday morning I was talking to someone who was quite certain that she had seen, smelled, encountered her dead father: it's so easy for the physical resurrection of Christ to be confused with that sort of longing recall that can both soothe and trouble the bereaved...Small wonder that
"in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering,"
But then, once again, Jesus turns to the most prosaic, straightforward things and transforms them into a sacrament of his presence...Not bread broken and wine shared this time but the utterly down to earth " a piece of broiled fish" eaten before their wondering eyes.
Could anything sound less dramatic? Yet it is in eating that Jesus demonstrates beyond any doubt that his presence is not a collective delusion born of the disciples' longing, that the resurrection is not simply a matter of disembodied spirits but something solid and real.
The disciples are turned from speculative doubters into convinced witnesses...Their minds were opened because their senses were convinced. Without that moment of solid proof, one suspects that all the teaching in the world would not have made sense to them.
Perhaps this week it's time to ask our congregations what are their equivalents to the piece of broiled fish...what real, concrete behaviours might demonstrate unequivocally to a dubious world that Jesus is alive in his followers.
That's where my thoughts are tending so far...but the day is young. What about you?