So there is sin. That is our doing, when we are too self-centered to follow God's way.
Salvation. Well, that's God's doing, reaching out through time and space to give us a chance to start again.
Consider now your willfulness. Receive now your salvation.next >
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
Luke 24:36b-40next >
In this story, some of the disciples who were there had already experienced Jesus alive — the two who had just run back from Emmaus, who knew Jesus by the way he prayed over the bread, and Peter, to whom Jesus appeared in a way we’re not told about. But then Jesus suddenly shows up again, and they all get scared. “Peace,” he says, but their hearts are running away from them. They think he’s a ghost.
“Look at my hands and feet,” he says. He means that the disciples can see the marks of the nails, but I think it’s more than that. How many times had they shared supper together after he blessed and broke the bread with his hands? How many miles had they walked together? Even without the scars, they knew his hands and feet.
When you’re afraid, sometimes salvation feels like putting your hand in Jesus’ hand, and sometimes Jesus’ hand belongs to somebody who has known and loved you a long time.
Richard Vinsonnext >
Thank you for loving me through so many loving people. I see your hands in theirs. Amen.next >
There is no falling that can keep you down forever.
There is no shortcoming that can leave you always in debt.
For God has determined to offer salvation
Every halting step.
Believe, and receive your salvation.
Richard Vinson teaches religion at Salem College, New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte campus), and first-grade Sunday School at Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He and his wife, Diane Lipsett, between them have five sons, one daughter-in-law, a five-year-old grandson, a dog, and two cats.
This Is my Father's World