Hannah had some good news for her Gramps this week, and she just couldn’t keep it in.
Fresh back from the cruise vacation she’d taken with her family the previous week, she greeted me—not with a ‘hello’ or a hug—but with two startling new phrases she’d added to her toddler’s vocabulary.
“Take off!” she said to me, her eyes widening with the excitement of the memory. “Fly hooome!”
I did finally get my hug…but not until Hannah had recounted the tale in her own precious way (a telling, incidentally, that included the cutest little plush donkey, a toy she’d acquired as a souvenir of her time in the Bahamas).
Tropical islands are interesting, I guess. But clearly, the airplane ride had been a big deal to our granddaughter. A VERY big deal.
The wonder in her eyes said as much as the words themselves:
Yes, indeedy: a class-one phenomenon. An occurrence of the highest order.
And you know what? Hannah’s childlike wonder lifted my spirits enormously. It reminded me how much I tend to take for granted about living in the modern world.
It brought to mind, too, the great feast we celebrate as church today.
Absolute amazement is a prominent feature in Luke’s account of the first Easter morning. His eyewitnesses—Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary, the mother of James—carried spices with them to the tomb. But when they entered, they did not find the body of their beloved friend, Jesus.
While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground.
The angels had still more surprises in store for the trio:
They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.”
Rushing off, they found the apostles…and reported what they had just discovered – their eyes, no doubt, wide with wonder.
…but their story seemed like nonsense and [the apostles] did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed…
We Christians have heard this story many times, of course. So often, perhaps, that it can strike us a bit like an airline schedule: It comes ‘round like clockwork, each and every spring.
But there’s something greater than a smooth take-off-and-landing here, isn’t there? So I have to ask: How are we planning to share the story in 2016?
To whom shall we witness?
And what level of wonder…love…gratitude…and amazement will those hearers be able to read in our eyes?
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.