Jesus Appears to his Disciples

Jesus Appears to his Disciples Luke 36b-48, Easter 3

They felt a surge of joy to see him there,
but they were disbelieving, wondering still.
What contradictory creatures humans are!
We dare not enter fully into joy
for fear of the relapse, the dismal clunk
that brings us back to earth and dust to dust.
We’d rather shrink to temper joy with doubt,
anticipating cynical retorts,
than welcome, like a child, this glad belief.

“Why are you frightened, why do doubts arise?”
so said the one who never would grow old,
who had fulfilled what he had come to be.
The ones that he would leave would need the gift
for which they waited, vagrant spirit power,
as unpredictable as fire and wind.
Observe them posturing to grasp control
that Jesus in humility refused.
Though New Creation comes, in pride they erred,
and cast a shadow reaching to our feet,
where race and gender still find prejudice.

He opened minds to understand the Word –
such openness will bring us wisdom now,
though stuck in fear, some want to lock the doors,
and strengthen walls to keep them safe within.
He ate among them, as all flesh must eat,
for round that table all alike are one.
He let them see and touch the proof of wounds,
for God incarnate shares our finite flesh,
the pain which we inflict, and that which comes
at random, and the death that meets us all.

No wonder that our joy at risen life
is mingled with the ash of mortal fear,
and doubts arise in hearts that quail at death,
however joyful risen life may be.
“Look at my hands and feet, yes, touch and see,”
he said to reassure them in their doubt.
“You see, it’s I myself, in flesh and bone,
yet not constrained to finite time and space.
Live into death like birth, and follow me,
both here and where I wait for you beyond.”

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