Friday, April 13, 2012

"Let him easter in us"

My Lenten fast clarified and ordered many of my thoughts about home.  I'm thankful, because none of my other fasts worked. I tried to fast from sleep after 5 AM, so I could spend more time in prayer and preparation for the day, but I began failing that fast almost immediately.  I really wanted to fast from electric lights after sunset, but I was discouraged by the massive reorganization of my days that would have required. I couldn't even summon the willpower to observe some of my small fasts from years past (e.g. no colored ink, no bright clothing, no earrings) that have remind me that when Easter arrives, we remember that another world--a brighter, better, more real world--is possible.

My blogging fast, however, was a joy, and I was delighted by all the friends and strangers who shared their words here.  I've spent this week considering how I want to proceed with my blog now that Easter is here--I want to sustain, as much as possible, the steady habit of posting words and pictures each day.  I'll have more on that soon, but in the meantime, I want to share some pictures from Easter Sunday.

I invited friends from church and school to come for Easter dinner, and a score of merry men and women arrived with all sorts of wonderful foods: fruits, breads, casseroles, salads, drinks strong and sweet.  We ate and laughed, hunted eggs, enjoyed dessert on blankets in the back yard.

I spent the afternoon in a whirl of hostessing-happiness: sure that everyone had plenty to eat, a good place to sit, and people to talk to.  At the same time, I kept asking myself, "Is this holy? Is this a testament to the Resurrection?" The answer, coming without hesitation, was "Yes!" But I'm still not entirely sure why.  Pagans are as good as Christians at having feasts, and other than singing the doxology to bless our meal, we didn't say very much about Jesus. 

And yet it was a day set apart. A meal consecrated. A day I bought luxurious foods (brisket, pineapple) to celebrate the kingdom that is coming because Christ has conquered death. A day where grown men and women throw confetti and blow bubbles in the same spirit in which they sing "Praise God from whom all blessings flow; / Praise him all creatures here below!"

It was a day of good news. It was the kind of day that makes an evangelist of me. I wanted to stand like Lady Wisdom at the front door, calling to all the lonely, dreary people, "Come in! Join us! Christ is risen and we have casseroles and love one another!"
It was a day that makes me pray each day, "Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east..."

 How did you celebrate Easter this year?

*(Gerard Manley Hopkins, "The Wreck of the Deutschland")


  1. seriously? Are you THAT religious that even hanging out on a summer day is all about "praise the lord"?

  2. Well, this particular day (the day I took the pictures, that is), my friends and I were hanging out after church on Easter Sunday. Even Christians who are only nominally religious tend to see Easter as a specially holy day. But even if it had been some ordinary summer day, then yes, praising the Lord would be important. My religion doesn't reside in a compartment separate from the rest of my life. We might not read the Bible and sing hymns on every picnic, but in our joy, in our laughter, in our love for one another -- all those human joys can be ways of delighting in the presence of God.