CONTEMPLATING THE RESURRECTION IV

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. |  |  (Harper One, 2009) page 100

Art | Resurrection by Josef Žáček

CONTEMPLATING THE RESURRECTION III

So many stories about Jesus involve a rising:

  • Jairus’ daughter : ‘Little girl get up’, 
  • the paralyzed man :’pick up your bed and walk’
  • the seed growing to produce a harvest beyond our wildest dreams
  • a ‘madman’ becoming a preacher
  • the yeast becoming a huge loaf of bread
  • the dead body becoming an inspiring life. 

Living in the Love that is stronger than anything else let’s spread our wings and fly.Rose press

Art | Resurrection by Carol Nelson

FIRST APOSTLE

Now
his body writhes
in pain:

one it was 
my delight, 
now it is my sorrow.

Blood drains
from arms that held me close.
now they are fixed
and life has fled
from flesh and bone.

As we take him from 
wood to earth,
all is silent,
empty—

passion
surrenders
to another love
that is not here
or there

but rides the breath
of a greater mystery
confounding
the finite corpus
of my desires.

No longer the object
of my affections,
he has become the subject of my truth.

The memory of
his love
no longer clings to 
the skin of my life,
he has dissolved
the mirage
of separation
and pours
the pure wine of
his presence into 
the waiting
chalice of my heart.

First Apostle" by Robert T. Pynn  in Cynthia BoureaultThe Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity by  (Shambala, 2010) pages 103-104

Art | “A sinner like me” by Caitlin Connolly

CONTEMPLATING THE RESURRECTION II

In these Easter days spend some time with Mariam of Magdala in the garden of resurrection and reflect on the poem “Tell Me" by Edwina Gateley.

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.

Edwina GateleyA Warm Moisty Salty God, 54
Painting found here. Artist unknown.

CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD

Χριστς νέστη κ νεκρν
θανάτ θάνατον πατήσας,
κα τος ν τος μνήμασι,
ζων χαρισάμενος!

Transliteration:

Khristos anesti ek nekron,
Thanato thanaton patisas,
Kai tis en tis mnimasi
Zo-in kharisamenos!

English Translation:

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!

Background Information: Paschal Troparion 

JUST FOR LAUGHS

Here is a little bit of levity for Easter Sunday.

Cartoon | André-Philippe Côté

CONTEMPLATING THE RESURRECTION I

"To believe in the resurrection means that we cannot stop at our wounds." | Patricia McCarthy, Carmel McCarthy, The Scent of Jasmine: Reflections for Peace in Everyday Life (Liturgical Press, 1995) page 55.

CONSIDER THIS
Honour your pain but don’t entomb yourself in it.

Image |  Resurrection Titanium White by Etienne (IstivanSandorfi

ENTER THE SILENCE

JESUS IS LAID IN THE TOMB

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.

Sonnet by Malcolm Guite
Paitning | Michael D. O’Brien

JESUS’ BODY IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS

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.

Sonnet by Malcolm Guite
Art | The Deposition (red), a colour etching by Sadao Watanabe

CHRIST OF ST JOHN OF THE CROSS
SALVADOR DALI 

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

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…

Poem | Shirley Malmgren

Art | Crucifixion by Theyre Lee-Elliott