"Seven Stanzas at Easter"
I love it when people send me things they enjoyed reading, especially if it stokes our affection for Jesus. On the other side of Holy Week, where we were reminded of the person and work of our risen King, it can be a real temptation to put Sunday behind us and tuck the resurrection away until next year. May God grant us much grace to increase our awareness of who Jesus is now for us and every season of life until we celebrate Holy Week again. I was sent a poem written by John Updike entitled Seven Stanzas at Easter (1960). Check it out below meditatively, and on the other side of the most important week in human history, make it cause your heart to burn within you.
Make no mistake: if he rose at all
It was as His body;
If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,
The amino acids rekindle,
The Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers,
Each soft spring recurrent;
It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
It was as His flesh; ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes
The same valved heart
That—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then regathered
Out of enduring Might
New strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
Credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.
The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
Not a stone in a story,
But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
Time will eclipse for each of us
The wide light of day.
And if we have an angel at the tomb,
Make it a real angel,
Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
The dawn light, robed in real linen
Spun on a definite loom.
Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
By the miracle,
And crushed by remonstrance.