Rise (Saturday in Easter Week)

           And He did;
though it breaks our minds,
           He did.
The tomb is empty,
           Peter’s face
white like linen;
           Mary smiles
and hearts are soon on fire; there’s
            no reason why
the broken, wounded,
            disappointed ones
should laugh
            and leap
and heal the sick
He burst forth from the tomb
            and said,
I am always with you,
            and breathed
His spirit into them;
some cosmic shift took place
all that we know is true,
He showed His hands and feet
            and said,
Now be my hands and feet,
the fiery risen Christ
            met them
in their homes and said
            Don’t fear,
unless He rose
           up from the grave
and conquered death –
           He did.

Author of Life (Thursday in Easter Week)

“It’s true: the Author of life lay dead,
            Lay three days inside death’s tomb,
The Righteous and the Holy One
            Made Himself an offering to
Ignorant, unrighteous men
            Who knew not what they did.
It’s true, for we are witnesses;
            We saw Him breathe and saw Him die
And saw Him rise again and eat
            Fish and bread among us, He
Who made the fish swim, made grain grow
            And lay dead on a tree.
Look: the one who makes bones live
            And opens blinded eyes has made
The lame man walk along with us,
            And you too must receive
The gift of faith, the gift of life,
            The gift of utter joy.”
The lame man clinging onto them
            Saw the stares of men who knew
Everything yet nothing too.
            “Times of refreshing may come to you,”
Peter said, the tail’s sting
            Hanging in the wind:
For everything was done for them
            And nothing they could give,
Every debt was paid and all
            Faith was theirs to take,
Yet some there were who still would not
           Die that they might live.

Breaking Bread, Mending Bones (Wednesday in Easter Week)

We had seen him do the same as this –
men on mats, lame from their birth,
           men born blind,
                      women who bled,
rubbing mud into their eyes,
            ordering their legs,
                      “Now walk!”
And always we saw this response:
            the broken ones arising,
the order of their bones arranged
           to be now as it should,
                                                       that way
           he had of taking atoms and
                       changing their whole course.
And yet we had not understood,
            until we saw Him breaking bread –
                        an action so domestic,
                        unexpected, being dead,
            and then, I think, we understood,
                        how every promise of the Word
                        was somehow in His nail-scarred hands
            so bodies must respond to Him
                        as clay in potters’ hands.
And slowly there dawned in our minds
            the knowledge that just as He said
                        “Get up and walk”, he could too say
            “Your sins are now forgiven”, and
                                 “Arise now from the grave.”

Resurrection Virelai (Monday in Easter Week)

See Him arise
Much brighter than the skies
Victory in the eyes
Of great David’s greater Son…
He breaks the stones of lies,
The shackles we put on;
Dark Hades He defies,
The plots of the shame-faced ones.
Before their eyes
He takes His rightful prize,
Swift, majestic, like the sun.
See Him arise
Much brighter than the skies
Victory in the eyes
Of great David’s greater Son!

The Slow Dawning Part 4: The Emmaus Walk (Easter Day)

Day ending, night on its way, they walk,
Hearts thick with the talk of the days before,
Of expectation reversed and destroyed,
Disappointment turned to confusion,
To rumours and gossip of empty tombs.
A stranger walks beside them, asking for news.
Yet he knows the story from its genesis
And shows them snakes crushed by heels
And mountains where death is destroyed,
While their hearts burn slowly within them.

The Slow Dawning Part 3: The Empty Tomb (Easter Day)

Eyes cannot trust what they see, for here
He sees the place where the body lay,
Sees the cloths that should have bound him,
Sees the certainty of light and sees the day,
Yet sees no body trapped within this tomb.
Run home, for this makes no sense. It stands
Against all that you ever thought or knew.
Your eyes make your other senses fools
And cause your heart to hope that what
The rooster heard might be reversed…

The Slow Dawning Part 2: The Gardener (Easter Day)

Outside weeping, for this makes no sense,
Dawn slowly clawing its way out of the sky,
Mary’s name dropping from the stranger’s lips,
Mary’s eyes blinking open at the sound,
While Peter, in the background, runs home, confused.
Rabbouni! The disciple’s earnest, light-bulb cry,
Arms wrapped around the one who had been lost;
The frantic fear that this, like dew, might fade away.
Yet he has arms and can be held. He lives.
(No heart could hope so wild a thing as this.)