The Scripture ~ The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. “Good morning!” he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, “You’re holding on to me for dear life! Don’t be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I’ll meet them there.” Matthew 28:8-10 The Message
The Spiritual Focus ~ “ God is the God of surprises, who, in the darkness and tears of things, breaks down our false images and insecurities.” Gerard W. Hughes, SJ
The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale joy, Exhale wonder!
The Devotion ~ To say the very least, it is interesting to think of Easter morning with April Fool’s day as a backdrop. Some churches will connect the resurrection of Jesus with God’s April Fool’s joke, saying that the joke is on death, and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, not even death. Other churches will lean into the surprise of the empty tomb, the subsequent wonder and joy that Jesus was raised up just as he had said he would be. The beauty of the sacred text is that we have many lenses through which we can examine the stories, depending on where we are on the journey of faith. We can also read familiar stories repeatedly and find ourselves deep in wonder and full of joy, because we have a God who is a God of surprises, as witnessed in the life narrative of Jesus. In addition to wonder and joy, other words that float around the cosmic event of the resurrection are: stunned, disbelief, astonished, puzzled, shafts of light, shimmering garments, angels and the command to not be afraid. All of these words connect to the experience of being surprised. We trust God to surprise us and, as Gerard W. Hughes says, enter into our darkness and tears, breaking down our false images and replacing our insecurities with hope, because of God’s great love for us.
A local yoga teacher ends the practice by bringing students out of savasana with the following; “In corpse pose we acknowledge the death of our practice, we release all that no longer serves us: our insecurities, our obsessions, our fears. We turn onto our right side, pause, prepare to be born anew and then we rise up with hope, joy and wonder of the promised new day.” This is the promise of Easter.