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!