Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48
“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” – Anais Nin
Who would have thought! How amazing! In Luke’s narrative, Jesus all at once shows up while the disciples are having a private, secluded conversation. First they are terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost (Luke 24:37). That in itself would be quite something. But what they were witnessing was more amazing than a haunting on a dark night. The disciples then move out of their fear into three seemingly conflicting emotions at the same time: joy, disbelief, and wonder (Luke 24:41). Was Dr. Luke, our author, the first century equivalent of a psychologist? At first we might think that these three are contradictory inner states. How can we have disbelief and joy at the same time? What is there to be joyful about if we don’t belief it? Makes you wonder. We may think they are incompatible emotions only if we imagine reality to be made up of disconnected parts. We tend to be so dualistic (either/or thinking) instead of wholistic (both/and thinking). However, in the mind (very being) of God all things hold together. In us all things work together, interconnected. None of our lives are simply black and white. Let’s look at the word “wonder.” This is not the same as disbelief, as if “I really wonder if that can be true.” Wonder is like amazement (see Greek below). It is like WOW!! As long as we can wonder there is hope for us. When we become hardened in our views our imagination dies, and we no longer notice the interconnection of all things. We fail to notice that even the bad things in our lives have worked for good, making us who we are today. Imagination is not delusion or making things up, but flexibility to see what is real but not always obvious. Because the disciples could wonder, Jesus was able to open their minds (Luke 24:45). Pure empirical knowledge, that which we can perceive with our senses, is only part of our experience that needs to be integrated into the mystical. In the mystical, united with the empirical, all is one, all is well. Since the disciples were able to wonder, once again they moved. This time not just away from their fear, but they moved into an integrated understanding. Their lives were now aligned inside a huge sacred reality that we ourselves might miss without wonder and mystery. How wonderful!
The word “wonder” in Luke 24:41 is variously translated: wonder, marvel, be amazed, be astounded, be in awe, wow. From this range of words we can see that it does not mean “doubt.” As an emotion it is on the edge. From wonder one could slip into doubt. But more likely one would slip into the mystical.
at the amazing sun rise.
White sun washed wonder.