The realm between private and public has blurred. On any given day, if you have a Facebook profile, you will find a steady stream of online friends who voluntarily admit their struggles, criticize a politician, share their purchases, chart their exercise, take pictures of their dinner plates, chronicle their vacations, and even advertise which songs they are listening to while at work. It doesn’t take much for us in the modern age to share how we feel, what we like, or what we are doing! Through the connections of social media, we are able to witness each other all day long; albeit, very passively. If we participate, but prefer not to interact, it can become a form of eavesdropping: we can take in the information, yet withhold comment or reaction.
It may be a bit harder for us modern folk, then, to relate to the secrecy of the post-Easter appearance of Jesus. Hiding out in an upper room, Jesus appears and allows the disciples to know, intimately, about his risen life. They are witnesses, too: but in the deepest sense: face-to-face…scars and questions and mealtime and all. Reading the end of Luke chapter 24, there is no way to take in this risen Lord–who appears out of nowhere–without comment and without reaction. Leaving behind the silence of the grave, Jesus continues to be God-in-flesh: speaking, calling, walking the road, finding his friends, showing up and standing directly, inescapably among them.
When the church claims it “is witnesses to these things,” I believe the church is claiming that it will go deeper than skimming the chatter of daily life, or clicking “like” on a Facebook status. The risen power of Christ enables (asks? compels?) those who call themselves Christians to be face-to-face in their witness, too: scars, and questions, mealtime, and all.
Risen Lord, show up. Then, transformed by witnessing your power, send us out–that we might show up for others, too. Amen.