Stations of the Resurrection
V – In the Upper Room
A Psalm Paraphrase
P: You have filled our hearts with lasting joy, O Lord. You come into our assembly with wounds in your hands, feet and side still visible. You are our wounded healer.
1 It is astounding! At first, we thought we’d seen a ghost, but the risen Christ, existing beyond time and space, is really tangible and touchable. So trust in the Lord. He is amazing.
2 Take away our doubt. We believe, Lord, so help our unbelief. The singular grain of wheat buried and planted in the soil has sprung to life, bearing a multitude of seeds ready for planting. Tremble before the risen Christ, but do not shrink from his presence.
3 Open our minds, Lord, to trust your plan written in plain words: “the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations.”
P: Glory and blessing be to God the Holy One, Creator of the universe, who in the power of the Holy Spirit, raised from the dead our Lord, Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:45–49
45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
P: This is the word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.
36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate before them.
44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
P: This is the word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.
Artwork and Discussion
Luke 24:33-48 – John 20:19-22
Jesus steps into the midst of his disciples who have gathered behind locked doors and says, “Peace be with you!” They were hiding out in their ‘safe house’ in Jerusalem, the one with the upper room, and the risen Christ suddenly appears. Wounds from the nails that punctured hands and feet and the sword that pierced his side are evidence that the post-Easter Jesus is the same as the pre-Easter Jesus. Before and after coincide. This Jesus is no ghost, no dis-embodied spirit, but physically present. He is in the body—not a spiritualized presence as the Gnostic heresy would later have it.
Peace makers are blessed by Jesus. They are called ‘sons of God.’ Making peace always puts the one forging the bonds of peace in a vulnerable position. When peace is Jesus’ gift to us, it comes with courage to lower angry rhetoric, banish fear, and surrender hate. Jesus blesses us with the peace of God that exceeds human understanding. It is amazing what we can accomplish “in Jesus’ name.”
Meditation / A Responsive Reading
4 Those who are in Christ join the new creation. Everything has become new. His gift of peace means that all will be well no matter what comes our way. All of the old pieties that burden consciences mean nothing–what counts is the new creation.
5 We were headed for futility on the treadmill of existence when suddenly you appeared in our midst, Lord. With you came an invasion of grace and a new way of perceiving reality. Open our eyes, ears and hearts to the miracle of new life and continue to surprise wus with joy. We love you with our whole mind, with our enlarged hearts, and with all our energy.
6 The Lord is our past and our future. His promise is present and his presence is promise. He is the new Adam, the new covenant, the new creation. We are transformed by the renewing of our mind, now able to test and approve what is God’s will–his good, pleasing and perfect plan.
P: O Lord God, flood our whole being with the grace of Christ’s resurrection. We seek no longer to conform to the patterns of this world but to be transformed by a renewed mind. In Christ we see your on-going creation beckoning us to participate in its renewal. Empower us with your Holy Spirit, that we may live in your light and love. Amen.
A: Newspapers and news sources gather an audience based on sensationalism, thinking that violence and death are magnets for our attention and patronage. As an exercise in renewal, take a front page or a computer news summary and imaginatively rewrite the headlines, turning negatives into positives, death into life, harm into help. Post it.