Coming Attractions April 17 – 23 (Easter Week, Year 2)

The readings are listed in the Book of Common Prayer p.957, and appear on various websites including Forward Movement, Mission St Clare.

Exodus 12:1-14:4 For a different entry into these texts, here’s Peter, Paul & Mary’s Man Come into Egypt.

1 Corinthians 15:1-58 Hard to beatJohn Updike’s “Seven Stanzas at Easter” (1960). This year I’m not even trying.

Make no mistake: if he rose at all
It was as His body;
If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,
The amino acids rekindle,
The Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
Each soft spring recurrent;
It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the
Eleven apostles;
It was as His flesh; ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes
The same valved heart
That—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then regathered
Out of enduring Might
New strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,
Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded
Credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
Not a stone in a story,
But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of
Time will eclipse for each of us
The wide light of day.

And if we have an angel at the tomb,
Make it a real angel,
Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in
The dawn light, robed in real linen
Spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed
By the miracle,
And crushed by remonstrance.

Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-12 How to take a picture of the sun? That’s more or less the challenge facing the Gospel writers at the Resurrection. Here’s Hooker on Mark ending his Gospel with the announcement of resurrection but without appearances: “Mark’s gospel concludes with a challenge to the disciples to set off to Galilee—to follow Jesus, once again, in the way of discipleship; if they obey—and only if they obey—they will see the Risen Lord. But is this message not a challenge also to Mark’s readers? They, too, must follow Jesus on the way of discipleship if they want to see him. Had Mark ended with resurrection stories, we might have thought (as Christians have sometimes been tempted to think): ‘so that’s the end of the story; everything is now tidied up.’ But for Mark, the resurrection of Jesus is only the beginning. He does not offer us—how could he?—cast-iron ‘evidence’ that Jesus has been raised form the dead, but confronts us instead with a challenge to believe and to follow.”

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