Our local house group has recently completed a course on the resurrection and the resurrection appearances of Jesus. For our final session, a celebration of the resurrection, the group was invited to to share poetry, music, prayers or a quotation which they had written or loved or found. I share some of these with you.
Merle sets the scene with this beautiful ballad.
My Song is Love Unknown – Sylvia Burnside
Lesley’s reflection on Resurrection in the world around us.
As a new resident at a senior citizen complex,
I have encountered quite a few newly widowed women.
Life, as they knew it, has died……they are having to re-create themselves.
Nothing is the same.
It is a slow, and painful process. With many challenges they gradually roll the stone away, and experience new life.
Bob’s choice of a poem – Still I Rise, read by
the poet herself, the amazing woman,
Lesley’s Morning Prayer
Lord Jesus, I rise in awe this morning, marvelling at your resurrection,
and so grateful for it.
If there was no resurrection
there would be no hope for mankind.
We would have no second chance,
and no peace of mind.
Help me this day O Lord, to live
according to your word,
and when I fail, please forgive me,
and guide me, always.
As I go out this day,
I rejoice that you are my God.
My research from our poetry series:
This is a ‘shape’ poem, which means that it is shaped like the thing that it describes.
The expansion and contraction of the lines imitates the meaning of the words.
It is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection – humankind overcomes sin and attains freedom.
The shape represents a dying or falling, then rising pattern,which is the theme of the Easter story.
The top half of each stanza focuses on the problems caused by human sin.
My favourite Easter Hymn is Lord of the dance, and I have chosen this version by a school Choir.
By Heath Mount School Choir
Daphne chose and presented the George Herbert poem, Easter Wings
Below is how Easter Wings appeared on the page.
Herbert makes us turn the book – to take action. He is suggesting that the Resurrection and the new life Jesus brings requires our response. We have to turn towards the Christ and experience new life.
Shaen’s understanding of the Resurrection in every day life:
When I thought about this question, I went back a bit in time as I was reminded of an experience I had a few months ago – after Lockdowns 5 and 4 ended. As you all know, life as we knew it perished during Lockdowns 5 and 4. We were confined to our houses, not allowed out except for medical reasons, or to buy essential groceries. There was virtually no traffic on the road, no pedestrians, no joggers, no cyclists, no nannies with prams, no walkers, no jay walkers, no homeless people. The world as we knew it, died.
During Level 4 I had had to drive to Rondebosch to go to the MTN shop – it was scary. The drive was familiar but so different. There were so few cars on the road. I was terrified I would be stopped by a police car and asked why I was outside of my zone. And there were other episodes like this – it was the familiar but different; it was the unknown and frightening – and I became scared of going outside of Pinewood Village and its immediate surrounds.
But when we came out of Levels 5 and 4 Lockdown, life gradually started to be restored. It was as though the world was renewing itself.
I went to Kirstenbosch for the first time after it was allowed to re-open in Level 3. It was only a day or two after the re-opening. I was on my own. Apart from a few people near Gate 2 and the tearoom, I saw no one else. As I walked around the Gardens, I seemed to have that whole magnificent garden to myself. I was intensely aware of the vegetation, the air, the sky, the sun, the mountain – all looking clean and new, and stunningly beautiful. The gardens had not been tended as horticulture was not allowed during Levels 5 and 4 and the flora looked rather overgrown but very natural. I looked at all the plants carefully, seeing signs of new growth. Towards the top of the gardens, I saw two huge proteas in full bloom with pinky red flowers, looking magnificent. I had never noticed them before. There were sugarbirds in them, feeding away. The birds were everywhere, very busy. I saw a mongoose running past. It was like everything had been renewed – and that I was seeing them all for the first time as I was so intensely aware of my surroundings. The intensity of the experience is difficult to describe and I will never forget it. After doing this course, I have come to think that what I experienced was a “Resurrection experience” because it seemed renewed, different AND exciting – but yet familiar.
Interestingly, from that time onwards, I was no longer scared when going to places outside of Pinewood and its environs– confidence had returned to me.
Victor and Merle’s favourite Easter Hymn
Lord Jesus Christ – Roger Drabble
Resurrection – The Easter Story.
They slept, who should have guarded.
And watched over his tomb.
But He “rose up” and none did see,
His rebirth from the womb.
His spirit graced the garden
His final act was done,
He was “The Resurrection”
His victory had been won.
My favourite quotation on the Resurrection
The Whisper of Resurrection
I am the Spirit of the Risen Christ. If you dare to believe it, I can set free the dance in your body, the music in your soul, the dream in your heart. You can overcome every fear – with me: you can forgive every hurt- with me; you can make your life a journey of wonder-with me. With your bodies you can worship each other- with me. Every hope you carry inside you can come true – because with me you can do all things. You can mend a broken world because now, everything is possible. Heaven on earth lies open before you today for the taking, But there is one condition to this glorious transformation – of you, of humanity and of creation – you must dare to believe it.
Daniel O’Leary 2007 The Columba Press
Shaen chose Beethoven’s Hallelujah from the Mount of Olives, which is perhaps a fitting climax to our series on the Resurrection
UCLA Beethoven, Christ on the Mount of Olives, Op 85 -Hallelujah
And a Prayer from Merle:
Blessed Jesus, how glad we are
that you have left this living memorial for us
as a reminder of your undying love.
Help us to enter into the real meaning
of our faith in a new way
from this day forward.
I love this street version of Ode to Joy by Beethoven:
Flashmob Flash Mob – Ode an die Freude ( Ode to Joy ) Beethoven Symphony No.9 classical music
Val chose this poem by Alfred Noyse, Resurrection. He also wrote the Highwayman whom many will remember from our youth.
When all the altar lights were dead,
And mockery choked the world’s desire;
When every faith on earth had fled,
A spirit rose on wings of fire.
He rose and sang. I never heard
A song of such ecstatic breath;
And, though I caught no throbbing word,
I knew that he had conquered death.
He sang no comfortable things;
But as a shaft had pierced him through;
And dark stain between his wings
Grew darker as the glory grew.
He sang the agonies of loss;
Of farewells, and love’s last kiss.
He sang in heaven as on a cross,
A spirit crucified with bliss.
Over these ruined shrines he rose,
These crumbling graves where all men grope!
Racked by the universal throes,
And singing the eternal hope.
We pray that you will pour your spirit afresh on us.
Strengthen and renew our faith,
restore our hopes and overcome our doubts;
give us new life trusting in your resurrection
and rejoicing in your victory over death.
PRAISE THE LORD, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA!
Shaen, 1 June 2021
- Becoming Human
- The Fox and the Crow
- Prayers for Pentecost
- Vasilisa- A Russian Fairy Tale
- Taizé Reflection Service on Resurrection and New life
Small Donations are most welcome to help meet the costs of this blog and its outreach. If you enjoy it and find it helpful to your own spiritual development, please consider. Donations to:
R W Commin, Standard Bank Rondebosch, Current A/C 071438475, code 02-50-09-11
S.W.I.F.T. Address SBZA ZA JJ