Surprised By Easter

Surprised By Easter April 23, 2019

It has not been an Easter kind of spring; in fact, I identify very strongly with Kate Bowler’s recent post which reminds us of the reality of Lent even in the midst of Easter celebration.

It’s also two days after Easter Sunday, but Easter lasts for 50 days. Some years ago I began a process of taking and posting on my personal Facebook page a picture of new life for every day of the Easter season. One of the things I’ve learned doing that practice is that 50 days is long. Really long. Lots of Lent wanders in the longer we get out from the dramatic celebration that occurs on that first glorious night and morning.

All of that is really preface to sharing with you one of my favorite Easter hymns (don’t worry; it’s public domain, written 1300 years ago and translated almost 200.) Does it belong on a blog about work and vocation? I think it does, because it reminds us that Christ is not “out there” or “up there“; he’s in here, with us every day. Even the Lenten ones.

Take it away, John of Damascus as translated by John Mason Neale:

1 Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought his Israel
into joy from sadness;
loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke
Jacob’s sons and daughters;
led them with unmoistened foot
through the Red Sea waters.

2 ‘Tis the spring of souls today;
Christ hath burst his prison,
and from three days’ sleep in death
as a sun hath risen;
all the winter of our sins,
long and dark, is flying
from his light, to whom we give
laud and praise undying.

3 Now the queen of seasons, bright
with the day of splendor,
with the royal feast of feasts,
comes its joy to render;
comes to glad Jerusalem,
who with true affection
welcomes in unwearied strains
Jesus’ resurrection.

4 Neither might the gates of death,
nor the tomb’s dark portal,
nor the watchers, nor the seal
hold thee as a mortal:
but today amidst thine own
thou didst stand, bestowing
thine own peace, which evermore
passeth human knowing.

5 “Alleuia!” now we cry

to our King immortal,
who, triumphant, burst the bars
of the tomb’s dark portal;
“Alleluia!” with the Son,
God the Father praising;
“Alleluia!” yet again
to the Spirit raising.

Image: Unsplash.

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