Saturday, April 11, 2009

EASTER SUNRISE

Easter Sunday morning and the sky is glorious with sunrise. Bright light, like molten gold, pours over the eastern horizon, gushing through the tangle of limbs in the big sycamore beside the drive and dancing in gilded delight on the moving mirror of the river’s surface. The perfect light for this most holy of mornings, when Christians the world over rejoice in the resurrection of their living Savior. In a while, after breakfast, I’ll get dressed and drive to church for Easter Service. Listen again to that familiar triumphant story of the rolled-away rock and the empty tomb, the two Marys and the disbelieving disciples, of Peter rushing in to see for himself…and later, the undeniable truth of the risen Jesus. There will be prayer and music—and just maybe they will sing at least a couple of the beautiful old Easter hymns I so dearly love. Easter is my favorite service of the year, a message of eternal hope delivered amid the vernal rebirth of unfolding spring. Easter is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without Easter and Christ’s resurrection, the Bible becomes just another dusty text, Jesus simply another man, and Christianity merely a set of outdated customs and traditions. Belief in anything beyond the oblivion of the grave seems foolish. Except, I do believe the Easter story—believe that Christ died, was buried, and rose again. I believe it because I’ve tried to not believe and, thankfully, failed; because I find faith and belief fills something in me that remains restless and empty otherwise. The sun comes up on this holiest of days, reiterating my conviction in an everlasting beyond the constraints of time, while warming me in its light of grace. I write today for myself because there is so much beauty all around and my heart is overflowing. A new day is here and my spirit soars! Life is mine. There is jubilation, triumph, and exultation in the air, a scared welling which resonates like a pealing bell with who I am. Today I will celebrate Easter—because for me, there’s a wonderful, inescapable truth in this singular April sunrise.

28 comments:

nina at Nature Remains. said...

The beautiful, old Easter hymns, I remember, too.
And families gathering, and warmth of sunshiny afternoons and first light and joyfulness.
And, although my personal beliefs have evolved as I've grown older, within differing denominations ... the core has remained--which I, too, celebrate on this day.

This season's life is abundant, overflowing in every way.

Happy Easter!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Nina…

Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I really appreciate them, and appreciate your sharing.

Happy Easter!

bobbie said...

A very happy Easter!

Thank you for this lovely Easter dawn.

Lynne said...

I believe too.
I hope you have a happy and blessed Easter.

Gail said...

Hey Griz-
And "Happy Blessed Easter" to you and yours.
Lovely, lovely photo of morning's promise...inspiring and heartfelt words of faith and tradition and of Jesus....with whom I enjoy a close relationship.

I have long since let go of organized religion - finding my faith, and hope and beliefs no longer jaded by the structure and it's leaders. This morning, as I found my way to our brook, chilly and rapid flow - alive with life and energy, the sounds of God's creatures both inviting me and warning me - I was renewed -
It has been a long journey to find my place without church - and I have. I DO miss the faith community, the gathering of the faithful in song and prayer - that is no longer my place..........and in surrendering to this truth, I found my way back - and there is nothing in the way now - it is me and Him. And my faith community is now every where, in all that I do - at work, at home, at the store and here by my brook - I am safe to be vulnerable - be broken and poured out - the true meaning of Eucharist. I have rambled enough. This is an emotional holiday as I recall many Easters in church and this Easter morning, like many Easter's past I am alone at my brook, walking wiht our Lord - barefoot, despite the cold - Amen

Love Gail
peace.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bobbie…

You are welcome—I am pleased you enjoyed this post. Thank you for writing.

Happy Easter!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

I've already been blessed—just by the day and the opportunity to say what I felt. That someone else enjoyed it is the best of icing on the cake.

Happy Easter!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Thank you for this lovely, heartfelt comment. I understand where you're coming from.

Personally, while I may not "need" that community of a church (and I actually don't currently have what I think of as a home church) I want the fellowship of the gathering. My personal theology is not so much about doctrine or denomination, but about love and goodness, honor and courage, humbleness and compassion…and about people.

You can find a lot wrong in so many churches…but I still know that when people of faith gather, there is goodness and mercy and understanding to be found in their midst. For me, anyway.

Thank you again for sharing your heart.

Happy Easter!

Gail said...

Hi Griz-
I SO agree, it is in that gathering of faithful people, that in my quiet moment of honesty, I still long for. I have tried to join again - and it just didn't work out.
I so appreciate your understanding - words of comfort, especially today. Truth be told? I hurt today - as the wounds of "why" surface. This truth took a long time to reconcile - and part of the reconciliation is that it hurt then and it hurts now - that will always be so. I am grateful I can feel it, as I honor all facets of my life's design -
And at the same time my spiral ham is almost done, and I will join my Mom and my sister and our kids for a wonderful meal - celebrating our family and the risen Christ -
Enjoy your day - and again, "than you" for understanding.

Love Gail
peace.....

The Weaver of Grass said...

Well said, Scribe. I have little or no faith and yet I too find that the Easter message is very uplifting each year. One cannot fail to find wonder in the beauty of the countryside - I know that from where I live and I am sure that you do too - your blog advertises the fact every day.

giggles said...

I admire your faith.... I am Doubting Thomas, but I am still doubting....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I hope you've had a good Easter. We all have history, baggage, hurts and losses in our lives. The measure of a person is not the knock-downs but the get-ups. Sometimes we make ourselves crazy asking "why?" You seem to have found your way—I hope so. Life is meant to be lived, and sometimes you just have to move on, to let the past and past hurts go.

I thank you, as always but nonetheless sincerely, for your willingness to "out yourself out there."

Please take care.

Val said...

Hi Grizzled,
The sunrise shot is glorious. Thank you for sharing a little piece of your world and also your story about what this day means to you...

Easter no longer holds the meaning it once used to for me. Truth be told I "celebrate" it the only way I know how which is with simple baskets, home-decorated eggs, and an all-out "hunt" with the kiddos. The same goes with Christmas (by that I mean I try to keep it simple...) as well. As I come to terms that there is no place for organized religion in my life, it has also been a bit of a struggle to incorporate the Christian holidays into something meaningful for my children, especially while not making it focused on material goods...
The holidays were my favorite times as a child...sure, the presents were nice (but always simple) but it was the family time, the traditions, the way I knew the seasons and learned the calendar... all by celebrating the holdays...

Goodness, I'm rambling...

Raising children without a religion can be difficult sometimes... especially in this world where - even in John's kindergarten class kids were asking him if he was a Christian - Labels. Already? At that age? Kinda makes me want to puke...

I'm seriously digressing here, but thanks for the forum...

Happy Easter to you. And I mean that in the most genuine way because I understand what it means to you.

Amy said...

I've been reading--and enjoying--you 'silently' for several weeks now, but this post made me want to say 'hello' and 'Happy Easter'. Beautiful writing, and beautiful sentiments.
:-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

Faith, or lack of it, is a personal thing; at root, a personal decision. We choose what we want to believe and believe in, or not, based on our perception of "truth."

I wrote this today because it is part of who I am—my truth, if you like. It informs me and matters to me because it fills a void.

The wonder and beauty of the natural world is not a substitute of my faith for me; but in it I find another truth that also draws and kindles a flame, a context upon which to place words and observations, a place to find solace.

Happy Easter!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

I've had doubts and questions…and expect I always will. And the older I get, and more I learn, the less I know.

And I expect that will prove to continue, too.

Happy Easter!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Val…

Odd as it might sound, I do understand and in many ways appreciate what you say. I think, for many folks, it is religion and not necessarily faith that so puts them off.

I believe in right and wrong, which compels me to believe in morality, which I see as something more than the social ethics of the day, the accepted group standards of principles, or propriety, in which laws are nothing more than rules, man made and man governed, modifiable, variable, mutable, as changeable as the times. If this is all there is, a secular morality holds no value for me. I see nothing to back it up. Yet if I follow my belief in morality beyond mere rules and convention, I''m led to a belief in something greater than myself…which brings me to faith. Because I do fervently believe in right and wrong, and I've found that belief always, always leads me back to belief—to faith—in God.

Not religion…God.

In the most genuine and honest way I know how to say this, because I enjoy your spirit and heart, and really appreciate your honesty…for whatever it may mean to you….

Happy Easter!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Amy…

Thank you for being a reader, silent or otherwise. I do hope you always enjoy your time spent here. I thank you sincerely for your lovely comments.

You are always welcome here and always welcome to speak your mind.

Happy Easter!

Hildred and Charles said...

A beautiful post, brimming with faith and tipped with beauty.

I am organist in a small church, - this morning we sang a combination of new and old, but I was able to use the organist's perogative and include Welcome Happy Morning, Thine is the Glory, and lots of Allelluias in the prelude and postlude.

It is a joyous time for a musician.

The Solitary Walker said...

I admire and respect (and must admit am just a teeny bit envious of) your declaration of faith here, Grizzled!

I suspect I'm fated to remain an undecided seeker. I believe in frameworks and meanings, deeper resonances and echoes, signs and signatures, mysterious connections above and beyond (actually probably inherent in) the mundane object and the physical fact - as I hope can be seen in my blog. But I can never make any kind of committed leap into a proper religious faith.

Oh well, 'every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home'. Perhaps.

Val said...

Jim,
Thanks for your great response.

It is not just religion that "bothers" me... having faith in an entity whether it be God, Jesus, the moon, whom or whatever... seems counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

I DO have faith but it is NOT in an entity. I have faith in the hugeness of "I don't know"....acceptance of not knowing has brought me much more real inner peace than any years I spent in the church/devout community.

Val said...

I hit "publish" instead of "edit" and I wanted to add that I was only trying to explain my point-of-view, not trying to get into a debate. I hope you knew that and I hope that is okay with you...

Peace (and kudos to you for pulling such long comments out of me. You know me and you know that's a rarity!)
: )
Val

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Hildred & Charles…

Easter is the most wonderful of all days for a church musician because it is the moment triumphant of their Christian faith. I was a church pianist—congregational, soloist, accompaniment, choir—for a number of years (and fiddled around with organ a bit) so I know exactly what you mean.

I can also tell you during a certain period of my life, I once spent Easter Sunday morning hunting morel mushrooms in a rural woods a mile or so from a small Ohio village. There was a little country church maybe a half-mile away, across the valley. I remember how, of a sudden, I heard the sound of music and singing carried on the soft April air—too far away that I could make out the words, though it didn't matter, because the songs were all ones I knew—Easter songs that sang of Christ's death and resurrection. I knew those words by heart. And so I sat on a handy log at the edge of the spring, between earth and sky, with singing birds, the greening woods, and wildflowers scattered about…and I'd never felt so sad and so filled with joy, so broken and so whole, in my life.

That was an Easter Sunday I'll never forget.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Solitary…

Thank you sincerely for your thoughtful and honest words. I understand exactly what you're saying—even though we may differ in our current conclusions.

I respect anyone who approaches life and the world in which we live through the eyes and heart of a seeker. How can anyone of perception and thought look round about and fail to wonder? There are questions which must be asked, answers to be considered…truths to be discerned.

Faith and belief are our personal choice; the most individually legitimate of all our decisions. One of the reasons I so enjoy your blog is because I see the questioning, the seeking, the desire to know and understand and experience life's fullness. You didn't take your walks for exercise; your took them to find meaning and context, to ponder and divest, to find solace.

I understand that with all my heart. Thank you so much for commenting. And belated though it is, Happy Easter.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Val…

I take no offense, nor do I wish to debate. What I believe or don't believe is simply that, as it is for you, for everyone; a purely personal decision.

For me—perhaps for everyone—faith in the definition I imply is often counter-intuitive. Not illogical. And it ultimately stipulates an entity greater than myself.

It is not, however (for me) counter-productive; rather exactly the opposite.

I have no "faith" in science. I believe in scientific facts—always mindful that much of today's scientific "fact" will tomorrow be revised or discarded. Equally, I have no "faith" in law. I believe in law, though only as rules agreed on by the collective, not necessarily the individual, subject to culture and enforcement.

Neither science nor law give me the least intimation of inner peace. For me, inner peace is peace of the heart, the soul—not the mind or body.

Again, I'm perfectly fine with your comments. And glad you were willing to take the time and length. You can always speak your mind here, to me. :-)

Gail said...

Hi
I just wanted you to know that YOU inspired my latest post. And since you are mentioned in it I wanted you to know. I also want to"thank you" for sharing your faith's journey and allowing me to share some of mine.

Peace and love
Gail

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I don't know what to say…except that if ever I say anything that helps or uplifts or encourages, then know that it came not from deep personal wisdom, but rather a life restored through grace.

Gail said...

I understand - as my life has been restored, through grace too. The grace to surrender and be whole again. I think too, for both of us, there is some wisdom in that, ey? Who knows? :-)

and "thank you" for your wonderful and encouraging comment on my blog. I answered you, more in depth, there.

Peace and grace
Gail