Poet T. S. Eliot once described the Incarnation as “[t]he hint half guessed, the gift half understood.”* This description is as truthful and encouraging a description as one can find. For the claim that the “Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14) is a truth beyond our mind’s reach. It is one we can glimpse in part, as the poet reminds us, as a “hint half guessed” or a “gift half understood.” But what a hint, and what a gift!
The psalm Peter remembers and quotes in his Jerusalem sermon is one we might take to heart this Easter week. Its message reassures us in difficult times and lifts us when we are weighted down with sorrow or fear: “Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.”
How might you take this to heart today? Perhaps by doing something simple, if not necessarily easy, like practicing resurrection amid the sorrow or worry or suffering you face, which often feels too heavy to bear. “Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” Practice trusting that God will always stay “at [your] right hand”—and “[you] shall not be moved.” Try practicing this today as you deal with some problem nagging at you or a worry weighing on your heart. Let go, and let God.
The best we get at understanding resurrection are “hints” of this gift in our lives. Opening ourselves to receive some glimpse of this presence will suffice. Like learning piano scales, it is an exercise we can never finally master. It is given to teach us, again and again, the fundamentals. But the practice can free us, in faith, to live into the deeper music that our lives are meant to be.
*“The Dry Salvages,” V; in Four Quartets (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971).
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. Amen.
In the week following Easter, we reflect on the Resurrection. In Acts, Peter declares to his fellow Israelites that the story of Jesus is the fulfillment of promises made to their people long ago. He quotes Psalm 16, the second reading for the week, and applies it to Jesus. First Peter opens with a passage of extended praise for God’s mercy, and this is rooted in the hope that comes through the resurrection of Jesus. Yes, we may suffer in this life as Jesus suffered, but just as he is glorified, we will also one day be glorified in the Lord. John recounts a post-resurrection appearance to the disciples. All except Thomas have already seen Jesus, and here is Thomas’s first interaction with the risen Lord.
Read Acts 2:14a, 22-32. How do you practice living into the “ways of life”?
Read Psalm 16. What would change if you were to make requests for God’s protection a fundamental of your faith?
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9. How does the mystery of the Resurrection help you understand and love Jesus?
Read John 20:19-31. What role does forgiveness play in the way you practice resurrection?
Respond by posting a prayer.