Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gospel Medicine: Chapter 4 - Blessed Brokenness

This blog series is based on the book "Gospel Medicine" by Barbara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal minister who has written several books based on her own life and her sermons. "Gospel Medicine" is a book of sermons around the concept that the Gospel of Christ is medicine to the soul. I discovered this book while attending a morning book club at my local United Church and I was blown away by the depth and beauty of Taylor's writing. These posts will be looking at each of the chapters of this particular book. 

I loved this chapter! There is so much wisdom in a few short pages.

Taylor writes about the travelers on the Road to Emmaus who are joined by a stranger. During the journey they speak of Christ and His death and the rumors of His resurrection. The travelers do not believe in the testimony of those who claim they saw Christ expressing their disappointment. It takes the stranger to point things out to them.

Taylor writes: "The Christ is not the undefeated champion; he is the suffering servant, the broken one, who comes into his glory with his wounds still visible. Those hurt places are the proof that he is who he says he is, because the way you recognize the Christ and his followers is not by their muscles but by their scars... Which means they are not to interpret their defeats as failures anymore."

It's very soothing and hopeful to not consider my many scars and my many defeats as failure. My scars and defeats are a by product of living, of not just staying in my room and watching TV but of going out into the world and taking chances and failing because I cared enough to try.

Jesus did not stay in His room. He did not stay in His father's carpentry shop. That wasn't His place although I'm sure he made beautiful tables and chairs. He went out into the world and said things that weren't popular and broke the rules and embraced the people. The consequences were devastating and initially it appeared that He had lost, that He had failed.

And yet, He did anything but. He rose above it and two thousand years later many still strive to live by His words and follow His example and we watch hoping to travel with the stranger on our road to Emmaus.

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