Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wondering Again

On this third Sunday in Eastertide--the season we have been given in which to continue to celebrate the resurrection and to enter into its mystery, trying to figure out what a risen Christ means for the life we live NOW--our texts are Acts 2:36-41 (though I will be including 32 and 33, just for context), 1 Peter 1:17-23, and Luke 24:13-35. You can read them here.

A couple of months back, I wrote in a blog about the power of "wondering" questions--questions that do not have clear-cut answers but that invite us deeper into the mystery of the story. I find this week's stories full of mystery--a mysterious companion on a journey, a mysterious disappearance, mysterious languages spoken that draw a crowd that by some great mystery hears truth and joins the fellowship of Jesus' followers. So it seemed like this might be a good time to offer some more "wondering" questions about our passages.

Though I will be focusing more on the Acts readings than the Gospel readings in this Eastertide season (though, as Jeremy pointed out last week, this will be with the intention of seeing how the early church was shaped by these resurrection Gospel stories--so really we'll be reading the stories in conversation with one another!), it is Jesus' mysterious appearance in Luke that makes me wonder most this week:

  • I wonder why the two travelers were headed to Emmaus. It seems like the messages from Jesus on that Easter morning were either to head to Galilee or to remain in Jerusalem...what are these folks doing heading to this random village that we know little about besides the fact that it was seven miles from Jerusalem?
  • I wonder why we only learn the name of one of the disciples on the road to Emmaus...and why this is a disciple we have never heard from before, nor hear from after.
  • I wonder why, even though they can tell the story of Jesus' death and resurrection with accuracy and clarity, the two on the road remain sad even as they speak what is good news.
  • I wonder what Jesus said to interpret the scriptures from Moses to the prophets to the recent events in, don't you wish we'd gotten than conversation recorded??
  • I wonder why Jesus walked ahead as if he was going on...did he really intend to continue, and if so, to where? If not, I wonder why he made it look as if he was going on?
  • I wonder why the two disciples were so intent on forcing him to stay...the verb used here means literally "to twist one's arm."
  • I wonder why Jesus vanished as soon as they recognized him...and where he went!
A couple of wondering questions from Acts as well:
  • I wonder what the "many other arguments" were that Peter used that brought about such an incredible change in that crowd gathered in Jerusalem, that turned them from mocking the disciples to joining their ranks?
  • I wonder why it was Peter--the one who denied Jesus!--who gave this first sermon of the church, who could speak with such conviction and certainty.
As we wonder, may we find our hearts burning within us in the days to come as we consider the wonder-fullness of the resurrection story and the ways it reshapes the story we live this day.

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