Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Easter Ode

If you've read this blog for many years you know that I love to attend Easter services. Today I went to the Old Fort Baptist Church nearby for their morning service. I enjoyed watching their reenactment of Christ's resurrection (a short clip of the passion play they've been presenting this week), singing their modern worship songs, and listening to their fiery pastor. During the sermon, he said that there is a time and a place for reverence, but that this day is not one of them. I can't imagine a Mormon ever saying that about Easter Sunday. In fact, it inspired me to write a poem, which I titled: To the Virgins and High Priests of the Second Ward: An Easter Message.

I am pleased to note that Church with the Mormons this afternoon did not suck. There was some nice music by the choir, a Primary class did bells to "He Died that we might Live Again," (yeah, that was my class), and the closing talk on Resurrection was wonderful. The first talk was on the Atonement, and I'm glad we didn't spend the whole time on that subject. Though I think it's necessary to talk about the death of Christ at Easter, I like the emphasis to be on the risen Christ and the joy in such an event! (and, come on, we have all heard the story of the boy who took the whipping for the kid who stole his lunch...)

I can never get enough of the music, the pageantry, and the poetry that is Easter. Kristine has given some wonderful musical links for the day, Lynette compiled some Easter theology, and I will leave you with one more poem before you end your Resurrection Day. 

Drawing: "Violets" by Veronica Lawlor
An Easter Ode
by Paul Laurence Dunbar

To the cold, dark grave they go
Silently and sad and slow,
From the light of happy skies
And the glance of mortal eyes.
In their beds the violets spring,
And the brook flows murmuring;
But at eve the violets die,
And the brook in the sand runs dry.

In the rosy, blushing morn,
See, the smiling babe is born;
For a day it lives, and then
Breathes its short life out again.
And anon gaunt-visaged Death,
With his keen and icy breath,
Bloweth out the vital fire
In the hoary-headed sire.

Heeding not the children's wail,
Fathers droop and mothers fail;
Sinking sadly from each other,
Sister parts from loving brother.
All the land is filled with wailing,
Sounds of mourning garments trailing,
With their sad portent imbued,
Making melody subdued.

But in all this depth of woe
This consoling truth we know:
There will come a time of rain,
And the brook will flow again;
Where the violet fell, 'twill grow,
When the sun has chased the snow.
See in this the lesson plain,
Mortal man shall rise again.

Well the prophecy was kept;
Christ "first fruit of them that slept"
Rose with vic'try-circled brow;
So, believing one, shalt thou.
Ah! but there shall come a day
When, unhampered by this clay,
Souls shall rise to life newborn
On that resurrection morn.