Tag Archives: empty tomb

Resurrection’s Rude Affront

But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.   Mark 16: 6-8

It is no wonder that they didn’t get it at first.

The distance from his line to theirs
is years of light –
from sorrow to joy,
despair to hope
death row to picnic in the park.

We still don’t get it.
We still haven’t made the perilous journey
beyond the edges of the known territories.
We want mostly to slouch around the tomb
spicing up death
dissecting sorrow.
Misery is kin.
Failure familiar.
But the man acquainted with grief
is intimate with gladness.

And when they arrived,

he was gone.

Of course,
just when you think you are going to put your hands
on divinity,
just when it seems to be holding still enough
to catch
just when swirling matter and energy
hesitates
pauses 

it’s gone to Galilee.

And we are left holding the spices.

Best make a pie
for death will not lie down
to wear grief’s flavor.
There is a joke here,
a cosmic practical joke.

If you go to the tomb
to tend to the dead
and talk to the angel,
you risk losing everything
that holds your life together.
But after you have already
lost most of it anyway
in the event that has brought
you to death’s house,
you really haven’t much to lose.

It is the suffering, the anguish
that has you scurrying at dawn
to touch for one last time
your love.
It is there you may see angels,
when all hope is lost,
all reality laid low.

Then the words of angels
will strike you,
crack you
open
and leave you spilling
down the sides of mercy.

Someone is laughing
and you still damp with tears
had hoped to spend the night
in sorrow’s arms.

A rude affront to ones
adjusted to the gloom,
this grinning angel,
garish almost in his gleam.

 

This post is excerpted from Quem Quaeritis?Whom Are You Seeking by Loretta F. Ross. This readers’ drama has been performed extensively, including a performance by the Metropolitan Memorial Methodist Church in Washington, DC.
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Spices at Dawn

The First Woman Speaks:
on her way to the tomb at dawn 
I needed one last look,
a chance to smooth your blanket,
touch your cheek
and press my lips against your hand.
I wanted to straighten up a bit,
put things in order
and I guess
it’s true
see for myself that you were dead.
Who is to tell what you were to me
how I found power in your glance
and freedom at your feet
and, say it,
love.
How I loved you so.
Me so timid, awkward,
eager to please.
It was like falling in love for the first time.
I was dizzy with the joy of it.
It is true I loved you the most
for what I became in your presence…
happier, braver, stronger.
Now do I mourn more
the loss of the self you gave me
than for you?
How your aliveness
gave me definition, clarity, and sense!
What was dormant and stunted
took root and bloomed.
Oh Jesus
I could have knelt forever before you
in that quiet way
sipping sanctity like wine.
Now I falter at death’s grim behest,
embarrassed
to slam against the stillness of your chest.
Dare I invade you
with my gaze?
Death’s shroud uncovers all.
Dare I view holiness
in such a feeble state?
Dare I behold the dark veins of your wrists
frozen as winter twigs?
Forgive me when the oil
disturbs the tangled sleep
of all the hairs upon your breast.
May I not faint
to touch
the skin
behind
your ear.
~ from Quem Quaeritis (Whom Are You Seeking) A Reader’s Drama for Easter by L.F. Ross
On your walk to the tomb, expecting to find a corpse, do not let your assumptions about what is over and dead prevent your seeing the fullness of your emptiness. Savor the love that has brought you to this place. Honor the holiness that has passed through your life. Greet the unexpected stranger.
And may you not faint to place your palm upon such beauty.
Easter Joy to you and yours!
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Contact Loretta at lross@fromholyground.org, www.fbook.me/sanctuary
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