of beauty and scars

each year, the philippine beach mission team (or teams) sets out to share the gospel on the beach.

it was my fourth mission trip and second beach mission trip. i’ve been to different places with different people, and it took me a while to grasp what it is i took home from this particular trip with me.

well, what makes the beach mission trip unique?

  1. it is on the beach and the fish are everywhere. there are no gates, doors, or dogs that would hinder us from at least starting a conversation.
  2. we give out colorful bracelets that tell the story of what we celebrate during the holy week.
  3. the games are interactive so it’s easier to build rapport with the people.
  4. the direct exposure to sunlight for prolonged period causes sunburn or uneven tanning.
  5. the team is composed of people from different organizations and churches.

the games served as our attention-grabbers and they were effective, but the sand was coarse and when its grains scraped against skin, they caused wounds.

i wasn’t one to join games given an alternative and i don’t know of anyone who looks forward to having wounds, or worse, scars. joining those games was a real challenge on my part but the wounds i gained from them reminded me of something profound.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

(Isaiah 53:5, NIV)

it is because of Christ’s sacrifice why we have peace with God and why we have good news to share, not just on the beach.

i had always wondered why the Lord Jesus kept His scars after He resurrected. why should a perfect body have scars? although it was just my vanity speaking, it led me to this. His scars mark the beauty of His perfect sacrifice when all of man’s sin was laid on Him and crucified with Him.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

(1 Peter 3:18, NIV)

so what’s a few scrapes for His glory?


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