Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. | Clarence W. Hall
The resurrection does not solve our problems about dying and death. It is not the happy ending to our life’s struggle, nor is it the big surprise that God has kept in store for us. No, the resurrection is the expression of God’s faithfulness…. The resurrection is God’s way of revealing to us that nothing that belongs to God will ever go to waste.What belongs to God will never get lost. | Henri J. M. Nouwen | Our Greatest Gift(Harper One, 2009) page 100
Breaking through the powers of darkness bursting from the stifling tomb he slipped into the graveyard garden to smell the blossomed air.
Tell them, Mary, Jesus said, that I have journeyed far into the darkest deeps I’ve been in nights without a star.
Tell them, Mary, Jesus said, that fear will flee my light that though the ground will tremble and despair will stalk the earth I hold them firmly by the hand through terror to new birth.
Tell them, Mary, Jesus said, the globe and all that’s made is clasped to God’s great bosom they must not be afraid for though they fall an die, he said, and the black earth wrap them tight they will know the warmth of God’s healing hands in the early morning light.
Tell them, Mary, Jesus said, smelling the blossomed air, tell my people to rise with me to heal the Earth’s despair.
Here at the centre everything is still Before the stir and movement of our grief Which bears it’s pain with rhythm, ritual, Beautiful useless gestures of relief. So they anoint the skin that cannot feel Soothing his ruined flesh with tender care, Kissing the wounds they know they cannot heal, With incense scenting only empty air. He blesses every love that weeps and grieves And makes our grief the pangs of a new birth. The love that’s poured in silence at old graves Renewing flowers, tending the bare earth, Is never lost. In him all love is found And sown with him, a seed in the rich ground.
His spirit and his life he breathes in all Now on this cross his body breathes no more Here at the centre everything is still Spent, and emptied, opened to the core. A quiet taking down, a prising loose A cross-beam lowered like a weighing scale Unmaking of each thing that had its use A long withdrawing of each bloodied nail, This is ground zero, emptiness and space With nothing left to say or think or do But look unflinching on the sacred face That cannot move or change or look at you. Yet in that prising loose and letting be He has unfastened you and set you free.
It is not of this world, and yet it is, And that is how it should be. Strong light hits back and the arms Coming from where we cannot see, Ought not to see, another dimension For another time. At this time, we Share the life of bay and boat With simply painted fishermen Who give no Amen Even if clouds both apocalyptic and real Made them look up and feel What they had to feel Of shattering amazement, fear, Protection, and a wash of glory. Was it an end coming near? Was it a beginning coming near? What happened to the thorns and blood and sweat? What happened to the hands like claws the whipcord muscles? Has the artist never seen Grünewald? 'I have to tell you John of the cross called, Said to remind you light and death once met.’
Edwin Morgan | from A Book of Lives (Manchester: Carcanet, 2007)
Art | Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí, 1951 (at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow)
Christ crippled, crucified again, not on a cross but on the altar of our pride.
Yes, Christians, those for whom He died, deform His Body day and night, worshipping at the temple of religion, dividing His Body by tradition, cutting off hands and feet, destroying, killing by the sword of man’s opinion.
What shall we say to Father God if by our stubborn will we hurt and maim His own dear children so Christ walks crippled still…