It seems crazy that I haven’t showed up in this space since January, but that is how life seems to flow these days. One day runs into the next in the push to fit in all. the. things. Work and church and family and friends and home and spiritual life and social life and introvert time and housework. all. the. things. And so, in this moment, because it is Easter, and because Easter is important, I wanted to share a couple things others have written in this space. I don’t have profundity in me tonight, but thankfully I read a lot, and there are others who do.
First, I wanted to share this line from the Easter proclamation at the Easter Vigil. It catches my attention each time I hear it: “a fire into many flames divided, yet never dimmed by sharing of its light”. How beautiful is the image that conjures? Divided but never dimmed. Spreading and only growing. Yes and amen.
And then there is this: as I perused facebook over the course of this weekend, I noted many who spoke of living in an Easter Saturday sort of place. I know that feeling – that waiting and longing for life that never quite seems to come. That holding on to the faith of others in a resurrection that seems to have continually passed over you. I lived that life for so many years. I live it occasionally now. And so I offer this – a prayer from Walter Bruggemann’s beautiful volume “Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth” that speaks to this place, that calls forth the Easter. The prayer shares the same title with this post and was penned March 29, 1994, after Bruggemann read and prepared to teach on Psalm 77.
You God who terrified the waters,
who crashed your thunder,
who shook the earth and
scared the wits out of chaos.
You God who with strong arm saved your people
by miracle and wonder and majestic act.
You are the same God to whom we turn,
we turn in our days of trouble,
and in our weary nights;
we look for steadfast love and are dismayed,
we wait for your promises, but wait in fatigue,
we ponder your forgetfulness and lack of compassion,
and we grow silent.
Our lives, addressed to you,
have this bitter-sweet taste of
loud-clashing miracles and weak-kneed doubt.
So we come in our bewilderment and wonderment,
deeply trusting, almost afraid to trust much,
passionately insisting, too timid to insist much,
fervently hoping, exhausted for hoping too much.
Look upon us in our deep need,
mark the wounds of our brothers and sisters just here,
notice the turmoil in our lives, and the lives of our families,
credit the incongruity of the rich and the poor in our very city,
and the staggering injustices abroad in our land,
tend to the rage our of control, rage justified by displacement,
rage gone crazy by absence, silence, and deprivation,
measure the suffering,
count the sufferers,
number the wounds.
You tamer of chaos and mender of all tears in the canvas of creation,
we ponder your suffering,
your crown of thorns,
your garment taken in lottery,
your mocked life,
and now we throw upon your suffering humiliation,
the suffering of the world.
You defeater of death, whose power could not hold you,
come in your Easter,
come in your sweeping victory,
come in your glorious new life.
Easter us in joy and strength.
Be our God, be your true self, lord of life,
massively turn our life toward your life
and away from our anti-neighbor, anti-self deathliness.
Hear our thankful, grateful, unashamed Hallelujah! Amen.