~ The Dawn of Gentle Times ~
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb .”
Dear Members and Friends,
As I write these words, it’s still just the fourth day of spring. I caught a glimpse of the season’s first daffodils blooming in my yard today, standing in a broad circle and nodding their yellow heads at each other, as if agreeing on some secret plan. I imagine a farmwife in decades past planted them in a circle to surround the trunk of some long-gone tree. The sturdy tree is gone, but the tender daffodils remain, their hidden bulbs still making good on a promise they made long ago. The promise of those delicate, persistent flowers would have been hard to believe this past February, when an equally beautiful—but somehow less hopeful—veil of snow covered the earth for weeks. Resurrection! It’s a routine occurrence that somehow manages to take us by surprise each time. With permission from the author, I’m sharing an Easter poem penned by our own former pastor, the Rev. Cal Wilson.
The Dawn of Gentle Times
Based on John 20:1, 11-18
The nightingale has sought her nest, the lark awakens to the rays;
Though dawn sheds light upon her breast, she sings the dark of recent days.
Amidst the nightshade 'round the tomb — the belladonna at her feet —
The Magdalene appears in gloom, bewails her love, now bittersweet.
There weeping, musing at the grave — the gaping mouth of night’s abyss —
She bids farewell to fragile love and scorns the seal of death’s sour kiss:
“From first the thought of gentle times — when in the throbbing waste of want
We sat and gathered grace sublime — I thought I could not carry on
'Til cease the ghosts of worlds that haunt and fade the face of loves undone.
Now lies the Thought of gentle times within the grasping clutch of death.
A dream unfurled, then brought to lime, you could not forge a cruel thought
Though Love expelled your final breath. Now where’s the place for Love you taught?”
“Why weep?” rejoins the Risen Lord.
“Where have you laid him?” queries she.
An empty tomb, the Risen Christ! Alleluia!
This morn the darkest dirge of rhymes will greet the Dawn of gentle times.
~The Rev. C. Coolidge Wilson
There’s a new poignancy about the message of resurrection this year. The warmer temps and the accessibility of vaccines make the world feel more within reach than it has seemed for a long time. Please join us as we celebrate the mystery at the heart of our faith, and at the heart of all life: resurrection. Where do you see it in your life?
In Christ’s Peace,