It's lunchtime & have a 1 month backlog of bits and pieces that I had been working on to post. I'm currently deep in caffeine due to a late night getting back from emerg with son #1. He had done what most young boys do on a regular basis - given himself a small injury through being extremely boyish. A small cut under the chin - big enough to require a few stitches, but not big enough to move too quickly to the front of the line.
It started with a trip to the neighbourhood medicentre yesterday evening. Mrs Felix thought that it would only take a few minutes. I'm amazed though, at the capacity of a six and a half year old to fend off the advances of 3 medical professionals brandishing instruments of healing. We had thought of calling the zoo to get some elephant tranquilizer darts, but they were closed for the evening. He was smart, though; he knew that if he resisted long enough he would eventually force the clinic to close - sort of like running down the clock at the end of a football game, and the operation would have to be abandoned. Eventually the clinic did close, with little progress made. So off I drove to the emergency room to wait with the cross section of humanity that shows up in such places after 10 pm. 4 hours later we were free, and fairly tired, and heading home again to catch our 4.5 hours of sleep. All in a day's parenting...
Earlier this week we celebrated the "Feast of St Timothy" - the patron saint of our church. The readings for the main service included Paul's famous description of the church as the "body of Christ" - made up of its many parts and members. Normally on such festive occasions we tend to emphasize how we all participate in this marvellous thing "The Church", and give ourselves a pep talk of encouragement and enthusiasm to respond to the tasks and vocations laid before us.
But this year we had a slightly different focus. It's not there explicitly in the passage we read from Corinthians, but it is there nonetheless: the body of Christ is wounded. We tend not to address such things openly in the church, yet it is integral to who Christ is, and therefore integral to those who wish to be part of his body. What I mean is this: when we look at the story of 'doubting Thomas' for instance, we can see that the place where he connects with, becomes intimate with, becomes convinced by Christ is in His wounds.
The image of Thomas being invited to touch the wounds of Christ is a significant and necessary part of what we like to call 'conversion'. It is vital - 'life-giving' - that Christ makes this the invitational point of contact: place yourself in my wounds, for they are healed, but they are still wounds. It is really only there that Thomas will be, not convinced only, but converted. And so I think it necessary for us as well to approach the wounds of Christ, and accept His invitation to "touch him" in those places.
We seldom invite people to such a Christ. We invite them to a glorified Christ, a teaching Christ, an ethical Christ, a loving Christ, a victorious Christ. We seldom invite them to a wounded Christ. Yet I am more and more persuaded that all of us within the church, and all of us outside the Church, need to touch the wounds of Christ.