Witnesses

         “Thus it is written,
         that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
         and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed
         in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
         You are witnesses of these things.

               —Luke 24.46-48

What do you talk about when you come back,
bodily risen but still wounded, from the grave?
Forgiveness.

The repentance we preach is not forced on others,
it's our repentance,
turning from from retribution to forgiveness,
from self-protection to self-giving.
When we forgive, we offer resurrection.
Christ is risen in the body
of those who forgive in this world.

Forgiveness is where resurrection takes form,
where wound becomes blessing,
where lives become actually new,
where people become free,
lured by astonished fishers out of graves into light.
The new self is freed from the old life;
anger no longer has dominion.
Justice rises not from the cross of retribution,
but the empty grave of grace.

Members of the crucified and risen Body of Christ
are not afraid to be wounded in offering forgiveness.
No suffering can stop us:
we have already died and gone to heaven.
We are as fearless as angels.
We are witnesses of these things.
 

   —April 10, 2018