When Jesus appeared to his friends that first Easter morning, their responses ran the gamut. Some were terrified, while others were filled with doubt, but not one of them managed to play it cool. Why would they? The encounter defied not only their limited expectations, but also the laws of nature.
Experience would suggest that dead things stay dead, but Jesus meets his friends face-to-face with a different possibility. Just when the disciples had resigned themselves to their loss, Jesus extends a wounded hand and promises that God is, indeed, making all things new.
This week's scriptures draw upon experiences of wonder, which are based in God's accomplishment of what we have deemed impossible. Just when Jesus' friends believe he's gone for good, they hear him calling them by name (as described in Tuesday's text).
When God's people are exiled in a foreign land (as in Wednesday's passage), they receive promises of life still to come. When we question which seeds are worth planting, wisdom teaching (like Thursday's verse) instructs us to respond with diligent hope. When the psalmist is sunken in despair, she remembers God's generosity and is moved to praise (as we'll read on Friday).
Just when we have limited our imaginations to things as they are, God has a way of interrupting with more than we could have dreamed. When life veers off the courses we've prescribed, we may be as inclined to respond with bitterness and cynicism as with gratitude and hope.
Obstacles are inevitable, but when it comes to the way we perceive them, we have a choice: either settle for less or invite God to show us more. That's not to say God will change our physical circumstance, but God may open our heart to find possibility in any situation, no matter how final it may seem.
Easter morning has yet to dawn. Still, in this season of preparation, perhaps we can practice attending to the possibility, which is taking root beneath the surface of our narrow expectations. When we allow God to surprise us, we ourselves so overcome by wonder that only one word remains: "Wow."