Holding on

Some people never give up Christmas songs, but there is a distinct lack of Easter obsession in our culture. And maybe we need some. Okay, obsession is a little strong, but what if we made a point of celebrating the core of Easter more often?

George Herbert prompted this plan with his poem Easter (read more at this helpful website):

Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him mayst rise:
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The cross taught all wood to resound his name,
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long:
Or since all music is but three parts vied
And multiplied;
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

I got me flowers to straw thy way:
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.

The Sun arising in the East,
Though he give light, and th’East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many suns to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we miss:
There is but one, and that one ever.

And from all this, the Psalms swirl to mind, the imagery of the triumphal entry and Revelation are in play, but the most poignant line is that Christ “takes us by the hand.”

Who holds hands? Parents guide their children, play games with them. And yet as we grow older, to “hold someone’s hand” means that they have to be coddled, helped along. Jesus commends the child’s faith, but we think that it is shameful, we should grow beyond it. No. Simplicity is sweet. But there is another dimension. Friends grip each other’s hands, and sweethearts slide fingers together, subtly and sweetly making contact. Patients grip friends’ hands. Touch is powerful.

It takes work to move in tandem, speeding up and slowing down together. But sharing life is beautiful. And that is what Jesus offers to do with us, to share true Life! It is a climb, a journey. It is trusting Him on a path we may not think is the right one. But it is also the sweet sensation of someone you love being close. And that is the beauty of Easter! So it would not be all bad to have a slight obsession.

Thank You, God, for reaching out Your hand to pull us out of the miry clay, guide us on solid paths, and show us what it is like to Live! Please help me to trust You instead of pulling away. I love You, Amen.



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