Well, not quite so gloriously bright, actually. But hey. It was Easter morning and we were up first thing, umbrellas and all, to sing the songs that awaken the dawn. That sense of yawny excitement that comes when your alarm rings just that little bit too soon; forever associated with early morning flights and the imminence of holiday.
He is risen indeed. Hallelujah.
Lord the light of your love is shining, in the midst of the darkness shining. Retro but relevant.
Wet but woken up, it’s back to A&A’s for coffee and bacon rolls, before an energisingly restful day of ramshackle community and a welcome sense of realignment, simplicity and normality. Kids proudly showing everyone the messily beautiful Easter artworks they’ve created. Balloons and bubbles. Slides that never quite come up in the right order. Maureen strutting her stuff through Happy Day, trying to rouse a gospel choir. Bread and wine. Cuddling angelic baby Caleb. Caleb baby-puking all over me. People shouting out the answers to rhetorical questions. Awkwardly English ‘peace be with you’ moments (hug? kiss on the cheek? handshake??) Spontanous lunch invites. Family. Multiple hallelujahs.
Having people over for lunch always involves questions about my masters, my exams, and my future. Frankly, it’s Sunday, it’s my day off, and I don’t really want to think about any of them. But I roll with the punches and share what I know. Looking around at church, I wonder for a mini-moment where I’ll be this time next year. And then I just get on with being here and being now; enjoying the fact that this is a day which draws my attention away from me and sets my eyes and heart back on you.
And live rejoicing, every day.
Here’s a meditation by Brian Draper that I received by email some years ago from LICC. Ok, so I quote Brian a lot, but I love the way he sees and communicates things. And, frankly, I couldn’t have put this better myself:
Sometimes, thank God, the foolish things of this life befuddle our conventional wisdom. The simplest things pull the rug from under the feet of those of us who like to stand proud.
Sometimes the poor show us what it means to be rich. Sometimes the voiceless should their piece through deafening silence. Sometimes David beats Goliath. Sometimes we find ourselves touched by the untouchable.
The upside-down, inside-out kingdom of God flickers and flashes into life before us. We snatch fleeting glimpses of the now-but-not-yet land to which we belong – caught, as we are, between a world that is passing and world that is to come.
But we can’t always see for looking – searching for faith as we do among the big names and big Christian gatherings, when, sometimes, the Message prefers to arrive in still smaller voices, through whispers and echoes from the places and people we’re least expecting.
Prepare the way of the Lord, the prophets cried. But even they can’t have been fully prepared for a Saviour who washed the feet of those who would follow in his footsteps, or a God whose star-flinging hands were splintered on a wooden cross.
Bread of heaven – it sticks in the throat. An immeasurable, unquantifiable Creator willingly brought down to Earth like manna and reduced to the status of a metaphor; something to be shared, broken, eaten.
And, in the same way, his very essence distilled into a full-bodied cup of wine, albeit wine for wedding, the best vintage, saved to the last and drunk at the death.
Take, eat. This is my body.
Take, drink. This is my blood.
Feed on me. And I will turn your world upside down and inside out. Not in the way a genie out of a bottle might do it. Not in the way the rulers of this world do it. Not in the way you may expect.
As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, ‘human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness”.’ Simple. Foolish. Ungodly?
What a way to go.