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Seeing the wounds in the wounded

Stained glass image of Thomas and Christ

Carl Gladstone, Director of Motor City Wesley, concludes our series of devotions from campus ministry leaders by lifting up the hymn-making ministry of his students and the space they make to see Jesus’ wounds in today’s wounded people.

Director, Motor City Wesley

“But [Thomas] replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe’” (John 20:25, CEB).

Students visiting Nashville
Carl Gladstone (far left) and students from Motor City Wesley journeyed to Nashville, TN, to record another album of inspiring music. ~ photo courtesy Motor City Wesley

For the last few spring breaks, Motor City Wesley has traveled to Nashville, TN, with talented students to record music that may bless the worship life of congregations and faith communities. These “Motor City Hymns” are part of our campus ministry’s creative witness to the church and the world.

The road trip gives us time to talk about finding joy in Jesus’ presence in our lives. It also gives us time to hear from one another the hurts and the brokenness we have to lift to God every day. So the mobilizing question for this recording project is, “What difference could we make in the world with these songs?”

In John 20, we see scenes of the disciples in the aftermath of the resurrection. Many are delighted at encountering the risen Christ. But Thomas stands in for all of us who need to see and touch the very wounds of Christ to connect fully to the resurrection promise.

Every time our Motor City Hymns students jump in the van for a creative week away, they take time to lift up the wounded places in the world as a way to connect fully with the resurrection promise of Jesus. The albums become benefits for UMCOR’s global clean water initiative in the wake of the Flint water crisis. They become rallying cries to support refugees in light of the war in Ukraine.

In their creative work, students make space to see Jesus’ wounds in today’s wounded people. And, in offering their songs, they give the church a way to remember and trust in Christ’s victory over all woundedness that may come.

May we rejoice in the risen Christ, and may we recognize his wounds in the wounded around us so healing and hope may be born in us anew. Amen.

Last Updated on April 12, 2023

The Michigan Conference