Thursday, 17 April 2014

Surprising Easter

Today, Maundy Thursday, has been my first chance to get some time to myself and to really appreciate the fact that it is Holy Week. A few weeks ago I planted some seeds- I'd almost forgotten about them until this afternoon when I found several small but distinctive shoots in evidence, tender green emerging through the soil.
Maybe it is just me, but I always feel a sense of delight and something akin to surprise when I see that a seed I've planted has grown. It is a tiny miracle that the shrivelled, tiny seed has that potential. Today it reminded me of the words of Jesus to his disciplines, "unless a seed falls into the earth and dies it remains alone, but if it dies it produces much fruit." Holy Week is a week of highs and lows and of surprise and paradox- meekness and majesty,  triumph from shame, life through death. It is a journey to the bleakest places, disappointment, fear, humiliation, rejection, betrayal, loss, grief, suffering and death, and then beyond to a garden where a tomb is transformed into a surprising symbol of hope and life because of the power of love and sacrifice. It is so outrageous as to provoke doubt, there is whiff of a conjuring trick and plenty of room for the doubting Thomas in us all.
Steven Turner cleverly plays on our ambiguous attitude to Easter in the poem below. By using the structure of a joke, he draws attention to our questioning, our inability to understand, our tendency to scoff or to dilute the message of Easter and, in his final "knock, knock", the message that Easter is not a riddle which we can fathom but a call to encounter the risen Christ for ourselves.

Poem for Easter


Tell me:
What came first
Easter or the egg?
Crucifixion
or daffodils?
Three days in a tomb
or four days in Paris?
(returning  Bank Holiday Monday.)

When is a door
not a door?
When it is rolled away.
When is a body
not a body?
When it is a risen.

Question:
Why was it the Saviour rode on the cross?
Answer:
To get us
to the other side.

Behold I stand.
Behold I stand and what?
Behold I stand at the door and

knock knock. 

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