Excerpt from page 115 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.
By now, I imagine most everyone has put away Easter decorations. Any remnants of Easter in the stores are in the clearance bin. To the naked eye, Easter is over.
Except that the celebration of Easter, of Christ’s miraculous resurrection from the dead, lasts fifty days. We remain in a season of awe, surprise, delight, and life—and not just at the blooming flowers and greening grass. Often, however, busyness, cynicism, and fear cloud our faith in God’s power in the world and in us. We allow ourselves to speak of coincidences and accidents instead of grace, mercy, and the Spirit.
Other times we find ourselves dumbstruck, as did the crowds outside the Temple doors. They stand in disbelief upon discovering that a man they are accustomed to see begging for money is now walking without assistance. Is it magic? Is it a trick? Is it a coincidence?
For Peter and John, this is the work of God prophesied in scripture and now made manifest through Jesus’ followers — ordinary men and women. We elevate the apostles to a level of excellence and authority we could not imagine ourselves bearing without acknowledging that Peter is the one who denied Jesus three times. God can use all of us to bring God’s reign on earth.
The world news headlines can deaden our souls to the truth that God has not abandoned us. The fifty days of Easter remind us that resurrection happens more than once. New life and new possibilities can be realized despite our fears, doubts, and skepticism — perhaps even amidst them.
God, help us remember Peter’s story and your endless mercy. Amen.
The Upper Room Disciplines is an award-winning devotional book published annually by Upper Room Books. Fifty-three writers from diverse Christian and cultural backgrounds contribute to this yearlong guide of daily devotionals. They provide insightful reflections on scripture and offer suggestions for applying biblical truths to daily life.
MARIA KANE is an Episcopal priest, writer, and historian of American religion. She currently serves as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Waldorf, Maryland. Her greatest joy is being godmother to her two young godchildren.
Originally posted on the Upper Room Books website.