Easter Sunday 2018
“Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness in us.” Gerard Manley Hopkins
Sometime between midnight and the morning of December 4 1875, the German steamship “Deutschland” ran aground on a shoal 25 miles off the English coast. Tragically, 78 lives were lost, among them 5 Franciscan nuns who were fleeing persecution in Germany.
In the wake of the tragedy that filled the English news, the English poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote the poem, “The Wreck of the Deutschland”. Towards the end of the poem there is a line that is actually a prayer to “let Him (Christ) easter in us”.
In the poem Hopkins uses the noun “easter” as a verb-an explosive and empowering action that happens in us. Easter, even like our salvation, is not a static event that happened in so many years ago. Easter is something that keeps happening in us. The power of the resurrection is not something that simply awaits us after death, but something that comes to us now, that comes to us always, that proclaims the good news that new life is possible here, now, today. In other words, Easter is not just about what Christ did…it’s also about what He is doing.
The context of the poem is important. At its core, the poem is a desperate cry to give our brokenness over to the hope and arrival of resurrection. It is a written prayer in response to the hardships, trauma, and pain-filled realities of our lives. It extends as invitation to allow resurrection to have its way in us, and entering into God’s work of shaping us through our adversity and pain.
Resurrection, it’s not merely a belief, but a way of living, in the ins and outs of life. Practicing Resurrection places us in a position to live robustly in the world. It’s one of the greatest testimony to the world that God is real and enters into our broken world to “be a dayspring to the dimness in us.”
Christ alive in us! Every story is a resurrection story. Your story is a resurrection story.
Today we celebrate God’s promise that new life can be breathed into the very places and spaces we have declared dead and over. We celebrate that death never has the final say, because Christ easters with us. A good reminder that everyday rises with the possibility of resurrection.
How do you see resurrection happening in your life today?
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4
© Gail Johnsen 2018
It is Easter Sunday.
In his writings, St. Paul makes an extraordinary claim, repeated at least fifty times, that we are in Christ. When I let Christ easter in me, the power and reality of the resurrection I am changed in ways that I don’t fully understand. We are a people of the resurrection!
Hopkins poem was his expression of faith to a disaster that left with great loss and sadness. Much like we all experience. When these kinds of sufferings threaten to catch us up in the shadow side of the darkness,
his prayer is that we turn our face toward God and his light will dispel the darkness just as the brightness of day overcomes the night. When we do, we open ourselves up to God’s love and to our own transformation.
How will your life be different with Christ eastering in you?
and a noun, referring to a state of being. Thus, the transforming reality of Easter happens to us and Easter is something that is “in us,” that is, Christ.
Philips Brooks, a nineteenth-century Episcopal bishop and author, once said, “The great Easter truth is not that we are to live newly after death, but that we are to be new here and now by the power of the resurrection.”
In this case, ‘easter’ is a nautical term. It means steering our craft towards the east, into the light. Throughout the forty days of Lent we have been heading toward the light trying to shake the darkness, the doubts, the burdens of living, the heaviness of heart. By walking Christ, letting him easter on us, we mean to turn to the right direction.
It is Christ who comes to Easter in me.” As a verb, Easter, is used a nautical term which means to steer a craft eastward, into the light. “Let him Easter in us,”
“The crowing evidence that Jesus was alive
was not a vacant grave,
but a spirit-filled fellowship.
Not a rolled-away stone,
but a carried-away church.”*