Saturday, April 19, 2014

It's Easter!

photo by Piero Amorati/ flickr
"Why couldn't everyone some Easter Sunday noon
Glance in the ditch as I did
See the snow run off the church-top hill
see the snow run off in sunny rivulets
Slam the wagon to a skidding stop,
Then look at lilies in full bloom,
   their heads in sky
Their roots
in cold

 I slipped my shoes and stockings off
Rolled up my suit pants
Waded in
(Did water ever feel so cold?)
And plucked a few to carry home
Telling my family
And myself.
In ways at which the church can only hint
That life eternal springs from coldest waters
And blossoms well in slightly thawing earth."
   --Stephen O. Swanson

Every Easter I remember a scene at the Passion Play in Oberammergau in Germany I saw years ago. The play opened with Jesus riding into Jerusalem for the last time. The play ended with the Resurrection. And in-between, the drama of the last days of Jesus’ life took six hours to tell.

I was not prepared for the Resurrection scene. The crucifixion had been particularly graphic. The stage went dark after Jesus was taken down from the cross by his loved ones. In the last scene of the drama the weeping women move through the darkness and stood behind these huge doors that represented the sealed tomb. They knocked on the door and nothing happened. Then an angel came and without saying a word she unrolled an aisle cloth from the door down, down the steps toward the audience. As the women looked on, the door slowly began to open. Light, dazzling light slowly filled the stage and bathed the darkened room where we sat with light. After a long pause through that open door and the streaming light Jesus came. He walked down the steps and from stage left and right a hundred children come running forward and grabbed his legs laughing and laughing as the chorus sang joyously.

That’s Easter for me. Year after year, the memory never grows old. Light and hope and new beginnings and love and laughter. Somehow my old nine-to-five appointment book is disturbed once more. The predictability of my days is thrown off kilter. The thus and so-ness of my life--worries about money or health or children or just the weary world—is suspended for just a moment. And I can make it another year.

                            --rogerlovette /

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