Thursday, December 04, 2008

Signs of glory…

The resurrection of Jesus is the basis of our faith in the resurrection of our bodies. Often we hear the suggestion that our bodies are the prisons of our souls and that the spiritual life is the way out of these prisons. But by our faith in the resurrection of the body we proclaim that the spiritual life and the life in the body cannot be separated. Our bodies, as Paul says, are temples of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19) and, therefore, sacred. The resurrection of the body means that what we have lived in the body will not go to waste but will be lifted in our eternal life with God. As Christ bears the marks of his suffering in his risen body, our bodies in the resurrection will bear the marks of our suffering. Our wounds will become signs of glory in the resurrection.

Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey

I've been off the radar for a week or so – sorry! The week leading up to Advent Sunday was appallingly busy here, and it's after such a week that I realise I'm not 100% well, despite pretending otherwise. The early part of this week I was pretty useless – too tired to sleep properly, which is a nasty vicious circle to get caught in…

I've been thinking a lot about Nouwen's words here, which tie in with an earlier post: Christ, in glory, still bears the wounds of his crucifixion; the Lamb stands like one slain (Revelation 5.6) even as he is worshipped. But our sufferings are only in part physical. As those who have survived capture, imprisonment, even rape or torture, confirm, the worst sufferings are not the physical ones. Somehow, in the life to come, we will bear the spiritual and emotional wounds we have suffered in this vale of tears, and we will bear them as "signs of glory". Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


  1. Welcome back! Too tired to sleep properly is the space I am living in at the moment too. It's a weird thing, isn't it.

    Your words remind me of Julian's words about sin :) Nice :)

  2. I have missed you Mike. Many prayers of Advent to you and please take care of yourself!

  3. I had the same recollection of Julian's words as Sue did. They are comforting words.
    Nouwen was up to his eyeballs in the physicality of human struggle with his work at Daybreak l'Arche in Toronto. He speaks of what he certainly knew.
    You keep yourself well and rested, Mike.

  4. Thank you, dear people!

    You take care too, Sue - being too tired to sleep is not a safe place, all too often. And I mean physically too - long drives not recommended!

  5. Thank you, Mike. I got a good night's sleep last night, large blessings :) You take care too