Joe looked down in amazement at the lights beneath him as the plane flew from Miami to New York. It was spectacular. He could hardly contain his excitement and joy. It was his first night flight. He soaked up the experience. Now, however, with the passage of time when Joe flies at night he pulls down the window shade. The joyful wonder is a thing of the past. It lasted for a while, and then . . . . And Peter went back to fishing (John 21:3).
On this fourth Sunday of Easter, are you still experiencing the joyful wonder of the resurrection? Or, have you, like Peter, gone back fishing.
The reason for joyful wonder
Of course your regular life continues. In many ways, it never stopped. But most likely you paused on Easter Sunday to celebrate and experience anew the joyful wonder of the moment. What caused this joyful wonder?
God did something so amazing it was breathtaking. God’s love was on open display at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, though not immediately discerned. The crucifixion seemed the end. The ultimate defeat. Total shame and loss. And then, without warning it seemed, Jesus was not there; was not in the grave but was risen. Ah! What joy! What wonder! Capture the moment. But there was no camera.
Would the camera have made a difference, or would it have transferred the moment into another one of those prizes to be pulled out for effect to say, “I was there?” I was there but it no longer touches me. I was there, but . . . it has a surreal feel to it now that I’m back in the midst of life. I’ve got fish to catch.
Joyful wonder and resurrection praying
Yet, if we would pray resurrection prayers with resurrection joy and hope we can’t afford to lose the joyful wonder. We can’t afford to be like Joe. We must ponder anew this great love and miracle and victory of Christ and be amazed. To allow it to go stale on us is to pray empty phrases. To allow it to go stale on us is to pray out of habit and obligation. Even worse, we run the real risk of de-centering God, becoming the center of our praying and then trying to manipulate God to concur with our agenda.
However, when we nourish the joyful wonder of the resurrection, we focus on God’s deep love and Jesus Christ’s victory in the light of the cross. We receive this love and are continually assured that with God all is and all will be well. We therefore come to God with loving hope and offer to God honest, surrendered heart prayers. Praying becomes the space in which we live and it is well with our souls.
Experiencing the shift to clarity and peace through honest, surrendered, whole whole-hearted praying.
Image courtesy of Unsplash at Pixabay.com