Easter, Year A

i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes

 

(i who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth

day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)

 

how should tasting touching hearing seeing

breathing any–lifted from the no

of all nothing–human merely being

doubt unimaginable You?

 

(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

 

This poem by ee cummings has been a favorite of mine for years. Better than any

other piece of writing I know, it captures the absolute joy and miracle of Easter.

 

“ lifted from the no of all nothing…”

Grief, sadness, loss – these are all human experiences, but what is worse is the

loss of hope. We can only imagine the absolute loss of hope that Jesus’ followers

felt on that Good Friday. They had pinned their hopes and their lives on Jesus.

They had thought that the world would see Jesus as the great liberator, the great

deliverer. But then, their dream of a new world had vanished. Jesus was dead and

buried. This really was the “no of all nothing.” But now, something has happened.

Jesus is alive. Death did not have the last word. Where there was no hope, now

there is hope. Jesus has been lifted from the no of all nothing. And so were the

disciples – and so are we.

 

Each of us comes to this day with the joys and sorrows of our lives. For those

of you who come with hope and joy, the Resurrection is an affirmation of your

experience. But this day has as much to say to those of you who have come with

sadness, fear, despair or without hope. Jesus has the power to lift you from the “no

of all nothing.” Where there is no hope, Jesus has real hope. Where there is death,

Jesus comes with the promise of life. This may seem too good to be true. Surely,

it must have seemed so to those people who loved Jesus most dearly. “i who have

died am alive again today.” And if Jesus is alive again today, then we can be as

well. Easter invites us to let Jesus raise us from whatever tomb holds us. We can

say that we who have been dead are alive again.

 

(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

 

Easter opens a new world for us. We don’t have to hear or see only the surfaces of

things anymore. We can see deeply into the heart of the world. Jesus’ Resurrection

tells us that there is a universe of song and color waiting for us, a universe we

might never have dreamed of. People who have had near-death experiences

often talk about how the world appears different when they come back – colors

are brighter, sounds are clearer. The same can happen to us when we allow the

Resurrection in our own hearts. The sounds of worry and anger and resentment

fade away when we listen for the voice of Jesus. The dullness and narrowness of

our vision can be transformed when the light of infinite love shines on it. And all

we have to do is give our consent. If we want the ears of our ears to awake and

the eyes of our eyes to open, all we have to do is say yes to the infinite yes that is

God’s love.

 

i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes

 

(i who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth

day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)

 

how should tasting touching hearing seeing

breathing any–lifted from the no

of all nothing–human merely being

doubt unimaginable You?

 

(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

 

Amen.

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