April 12, 2023: Describing the Indescribable (Easter Wednesday)

Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.



When I delve deep into a passage in order to write for First Light, I am often stricken by the beauty and aptness of the biblical language. Sometimes it’s figurative (Jesus is the rock) and sometimes descriptive. Being no scholar of Greek (or Hebrew) I can’t say how much is lost (or gained) in translation, but in my NRSV Bible the words are moving.

Today’s passage is full of adjectives. Our inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. Our joy indescribable and glorious. Isn’t it ironic that indescribable is a descriptive word?

That’s the challenge though, isn’t it? The love of God, God’s grace and mercy, they’re beyond our imagining. They’re beyond what our limited earthly vocabulary can describe, no matter how beautiful the language. For now, we can only hope and love as we await the indescribable.

–Erin Hayes



Lord, we have no words beautiful enough to describe your love for us. Thank you for loving us beyond our imagining.