Letting the Easter Light In
Within each one of us we hold a space between our expectations and the experiences of our daily life. Sometimes there is no space between these two realities, they overlap and intertwine in harmony. For example, I expect ice cream to be delicious and am rarely disappointed. Then, there are moments when there is a Grand-Canyon-like-gulf between what we want to have happen and what actually happens. Often the dissonance and disconnect decides to live in our jaws and shoulders is because our hopes are unrealized, unfulfilled. The tension sits restless in our souls and we can pass along our pain to others.
Pause with me. Where did your life just whisper, “Amen”? Where do you sense this to be true?
Let’s dive deeper, because even when our expectations and experiences are aligning, doesn’t mean everything is coming up roses.
For example, when you go to the grocery store just to pick up bread and milk, do you expect that the express lane will live up to its name? Or has experience taught you that of course the person in front of you will have fifty containers of yogurt he is counting as one item, his milk container will start to leak, and his credit card won’t process. And you think, “This always happens to me!”
Or when something good happens, do you immediate start to look for something bad to occur because that seems like the way life goes?
We carry around with us expectations about doctor’s visits, traffic, relationships, ourselves, and our faith. Which brings me to the Easter question: do we expect Jesus show up in our lives? Do you expect to encounter and be embraced by Christ as your companion today? In story after story in the Gospels Jesus appears after Easter: to Cleopas and his companion on the road; to the disciples in a locked room and out on the beach; and on a hillside before ascension.
Maybe you are saying. “Well that was nice back then…but doesn’t feel like that happens much for me today.” What if, our expectations end up causing us to miss the traces of grace?
Here is the experiment for the art project called, “Your Life” today. Think about your expectations for the events on your calendar. Do you expect this to be a good day or a bad day or a meh day?
If you are venturing out to bravely interact with other humans, what sorts of anticipations are there before you even enter the room?
Could you change one of those anticipations into the hope that Christ is already at work before you even leave the house to go to that meeting? Or sign on to your computer for that Zoom gathering?
This week, I want us to play with our expectations and experiences as a way to let the Easter light in. The disciples did not expect to encounter the risen Christ, which is why I think Cleopas missed that it was Christ on the road…which is why I think the disciples had joy in their disbelieving.
How might you expect God to show up in beautiful ways that surprise you today?
Prayer: God interrupt and enter into the places and spaces of my day, reordering my expectations with Your grace. Amen.