I recently spent time babysitting a darling two-year-old and was amazed at how many things she put into her mouth. It started with her toys. It was as if she had a ritual.
She began by noticing a new toy, looking at it first out of the corner of her eyes. Then she would focus on it with both of her eyes. Next she would touch it, then pick it up, and then stick it into her mouth. I watched as she did her little ritual with ten different toys. After she finished with the toys, she moved on to the corner of a table, then a book I had laid on the coffee table, and then she grabbed my cup. She would look, touch, and taste! Then she started her ritual with a small piece of dust she had found on the floor. Luckily, I knew the ritual by then and stopped her. Toddlers put everything in their mouths. That is how they learn about the world around them. They see, touch, and taste.
After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples were like babies in a new world. They had never before seen a person risen from the dead. They had no concept of a “risen Christ,” much less how to relate to him. Jesus understood their confusion and knew that his disciples, like toddlers exploring their new world, would need time to understand this new reality. Jesus says, “Touch me and see.” In today’s story, Jesus does not judge their inability to understand; he gives himself completely to them.
Understanding the risen Christ and absorbing Christ’s love for us is a process. Like a toddler exploring the world, we must take time to explore, question, touch, and see.
O God, give me the desire to read, pray, and share with others as ways to touch you, see you, and discover how present you are in my life. In Christ’s name. Amen.
A repeating theme in scripture is our failure to recognize God’s work among us. In Acts, Peter declares that the death of Jesus happened because his fellow Israelites acted in ignorance. The psalmist decries the fact that so many people follow lies, yet God’s blessings for the faithful continue unhindered. John tells his audience to expect that the world will not recognize them as God’s children because the world did not recognize God to begin with. In Luke, Jesus appears to his doubting disciples. He proves the reality of his resurrection by allowing them to touch his body and by eating food in their presence. Only then do they feel certain that they recognize him. In what places in our lives do we not recognize God’s work?
Read Acts 3:12-19. Recall a moment when you felt the presence of Christ in your life in an unexpected way. How does that moment stay with you in the times when you feel overwhelmed?
Read Psalm 4. Do you feel free to cry out to God when you are in distress? If not, what inhibits you?
Read 1 John 3:1-7. How does your identity as a child of God empower you to deeds of love in your daily life?
Read Luke 24:36b-48. What story of the risen Christ do you have to share with others? How will you share your story?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.