After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Awe is likely to be a word that we do not use often within our day to day life. So what is awe? According to Google’s definition awe is “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear and wonder”. So that clears that up then. Awe is the feeling we feel when we take notice of something and realise its beauty; be that be something large or something small. For those of us experiencing the world through young children’s eyes they see almost everything with awe, as they discover things for the first time. Like the amazement of how a bee flaps its wings or the scale of the sea, the world far and wide offer us multiple ways to experience awe. I reckon in the story above the women experienced some awe at the tomb when they came to the realisation that Jesus had risen. They were “afraid yet filled with joy”. I hope as we enter Holy Week that we take on some of this awe as we take the journey to the cross and beyond step by step. That we take some time to sit in that awe and then we are guided in our lives to seek out the awe more often.
Reflection for Mum’s
In the first few weeks of motherhood the feeling of awe can come a lot as you come to get to know this new little person and experience the amazement that you were part of the creation of this person. Or maybe if you didn’t come to become a mother that way that you are amazed of the journey you have gone on to become a mother, through the highs and the lows. And as the children grow that feeling of awe doesn’t dissipate but sometimes in the hard nights or the long days can be hard to remember to revel in those moments of awe as the child becomes the person they are meant to be. Awe has been scientifically proven to make us happier and healthier as well as transform us. So as we enter this Holy Week may we read the story of Easter with intent to experience all the awe there is to find and then lets take that awe and purposefully look for the amazing things in our world.
Awe doesn’t always find us, sometimes we need to seek it out and below are just a few ways that we could explore awe with week at whatever level you feel comfortable to explore it at. Try just one all week or a different one each day in whatever style you desire:
- Read the Easter story? What parts fill with joy and what parts are awe inspiring to you? Talk about it together, and discuss if these are the same parts or different.
- Go on a walk and see if you can see your area in a new light. What do you see that you wouldn’t normally and what do you find amazing? Offer it up to God in a prayer of thanks.
- Read a classical book or poem. Do these inspire awe in you? Maybe check out a local art exhibition or watch a nature program on TV.
- Look at some of the famous people who achieved something over the odds. Do they inspire you to do something; be it be better, more dedicated or to follow in their footsteps?
- Listen to music. What music resonates with you? Can you describe that feeling?
- Write a journal, in which you look for the amazing things in everyday life. After maybe a week or month reflect on what has inspired you the most and helped you to grow as a person.
- Do a good deed. It may make you feel awesome but even if not then you may just inspire someone else.
- Slow down and take a moment to notice things. Maybe that is slowing down and noticing the people you love or the way your children have grown recently. Or maybe it is through noticing the world around.