Today is probably the most important day for Christians, the day in which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. It doesn’t actually matter whether this is the exact day or not (let’s face it, it probably isn’t), it is an opportunity for one day in the year to focus on this, the ultimate cornerstone of the Christian belief system.
I personally find it a bit sad that on the one hand, some churches take this Christian holiday so seriously that there is no life to be found, just ceremony and ritual – the whole point is that due to the Resurrection we have LIFE! On the other hand, some Christians are so “un”-religious, that this is just about the same as any other Sunday in the year (other than perhaps they sing, in the style of a funeral march: He is Lord, He is Lord, He has risen from the dead...). Firstly: He IS risen from the dead (yip, still is). Secondly, you would think that it was worth celebrating, not mourning!
Of course, I also expect that this is also the point at which most self-respecting intellectuals “fall off the wagon” as it were, when it comes to the Christian faith. I will not here try to prove why I (who consider myself an intellectual) find it so easy to believe this – I leave that to the living God Himself, to do that. I have experienced His presence, and His touch on my life so many times, that even in the worst moments, I’ve gone beyond the point of no-return – will believe it to the day I die, and stubbornly so. (On this I concede to be as closed-minded to the fact that God does not exist and Richard Dawkins is to the fact that He doesn’t! It’s a stalemate of note). I also know that Wisdom is found by those who want to find Him.
But I digress, this is a fitting moment to have my first “real” posting on this blog, and so to suitably capture the day, herewith a poem by Henry Vaughan (English poet, 1621/22- 1695)
Thou, whose sad heart, and weeping head lies low,
Whose cloudy breast cold damps invade,
Who never feel’st the sun, nor smooth’st thy brow,
But sitt’st oppressèd in the shade,
And in His resurrection partake,
Who on this day – that thou might’st rise as He –
Rose up, and cancell’d two deaths due to thee.
Awake! awake! and, like the sun, disperse
All mists that would usurp this day;
Where are thy palms, thy branches, and thy verse?
Hosanna! hark! why dost thou stay?
And with His healing blood anoint thine eyes,
Thy inward eyes; His blood will cure thy mind,
Whose spittle only could restore the blind.