Eastertide, 3: Recognizing the Bread of Life

The celebration continues with a seven-week festival called Eastertide. Stay tuned for a variety of celebratory posts here on the blog!

Supper at Emmaus by Maximino Cerezo Barredo (sources: here and here) Inscription, in Catalan: “El reconegueren quan partia el pa” (They recognized him when he broke the bread).

Supper at Emmaus by Maximino Cerezo Barredo (sources: here and here)

Inscription, in Catalan: “El reconegueren quan partia el pa” (They recognized him when he broke the bread).

 
No, He is too quick. We never
got to say thanks. He was there
closer breath than our mourning prayer.
Remembering
backward, we can not imagine how
we did not recall His voice.

Even if we heard back then
those three years (plus seven miles) of teaching
how would we retell the new-breathed meaning His
words made Word raised upward in the air
with all His strong bones executing
every law letter? or the strange
bright tales sprouting
through crusted-over faith
like just-activated beads of yeast? Who could
preach the words into man’s heart
as the Spirit comes close enough to raise
to life the decaying rot inside? Who will
diagram the hermaneutic
of redemption, the cadence of re-birth?
or digestively analyze rhetoric
made flesh? or chew through
propositions as they moisten in the cup
passed ‘round? Will anyone sit beside
the broken loaf? and stir the bloody
grapey liquid? and explain
the symbol or substance
telling truth that no sermon made us recognize?

Enough. Refrain.
Digest a finished work. Repeat.
Today — another wordless sermon — the ingested
doctrines of our faith made plain
the Christ we need to know.
— "Recognizing the Bread of Life" (which I adapt from work by Luci Shaw)

Today's readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41, Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19, 1 Peter 1:17-23, Luke 24:13-35

Listen to my Eastertide playlist on Spotify:  Resurrection

The Collect for the Second Sunday of Easter:

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer

Weekend recap: parents tour Texas + links I love

Reviving the weekly post in which I share my favorite (and, sometimes, not-so-favorite) moments from the week and links from the web. 

-- 1 --

On April 10, this blog turned 11 years old. Crazy, right? I feel like I've lived 3 or 4 lifetimes since 2006. I've lived in 6 different houses in 3 different states, worked about 5 different jobs, attended 4 of my kid's high school graduations, 2 college graduations, and 1 wedding.

In the 11 years I've been writing at this blog, I've figured out several important life questions, and asked a whole lot more. We've worked and served in 3 different churches, become confirmed in the Anglican communion, and celebrated my husband's ordination into the priesthood. 

I've quit blogging 537 times, but somehow never stopped publishing new posts. It's been a consistent space in a season of unpredictable highs and lows. Even this week I quit the blog, yet here I am typing new words onto a white space. And here you are, reading them. 

Thank you. 

In the past 11 years, I've met more new in-real-life friends than any one person deserves. I've also learned the deep sadness of moving thousands of miles away from people, given the choice, I'd pick as my next-door neighbors for the rest of my life. It probably doesn't take a therapist to analyze the reason I value the relationships I've begun or maintained through this digital space. I know it can never take the place of face-to-face connection, yet it does provide a kind of connection that is also meaningful.

So Happy Birthday, blog!  And thank you, friend, for participating, affirming and connecting with me through this intermediary platform.  I'm forever grateful. 


-- 2 --

April brought our first Eastertide in Connecticut (which was lovely in so many ways), and our first trip back to Texas to see our kids and as many other people we could collect on the way. 


-- 3 -- 

We celebrate a family tradition of giving our children an additional middle name at the time of their 21st birthday. We hope to bless qualities we've seen grow and develop throughout their life, and give them a name to point them toward their future. We also hope to acquaint them with a hero of the faith as a reminder of their heritage within the communion of saints. 


This was the first time we saw Kendra since she turned 21 in March, and were so excited to reveal her new name: Kendra Jenee Edel Murphy, after Edel Quinn

We bless you, Kendra, for your fiercely tenacious, lovably persuasive, exceedingly capable, mystically devoted, churchly oriented, nations championing, friendship nurturing life. Godspeed into this beautiful and terrifying world, KJEM. We are always for you, and Christ is always with you.


-- 4 -- 

Favorite sights, sounds and reads from the internet this week:

  • Bono & David Taylor: Beyond the Psalms - Last year, Brian and I had the privilege to support this project behind the scenes. The latest releases are examples of great conversation and craftsmanship. Excellent. | via Fuller Studio
“We don’t have to please God in any other way than to be brutally honest; that is the root not only to a relationship with God but the root to a great song . . . or any work of art of merit.” —Bono
  • In Venezuala, the Catholic church endures among the revolution's ruins - One of my former co-workers in Austin was born in and still has family members living in Venezuala. I've been following the links he's posted on social media to try to understand the current turmoil.  This post helped give me some historical and religious perspective. Lord, have mercy. | via America Magazine
"When the state becomes predatory, the defenders of the faith are called upon to point people in the right direction, away from the violence of the authorities and back to God. Reminding the people he is still there; he is still looking; he is still caring."

 

  • Rewrite Radio, the podcast from the Festival of Faith & Writing - A year ago, I attend the festival for the first time. It was a game-changer for me, even though, at the time, it felt awkward and lonely. If you love writing, reading or just listening to interesting speakers, check out the archives of previous festivals in this new podcast series. If nothing else, listen to episode #10 featuring Frederick Buechener from the very first festival in 1993. | via Calvin.edu

 

"I think of how often God's messengers and Jesus himself urged, "Be not afraid." Both comfort and command, those words suggest that taking that full look at the worst is exactly what the Spirit equips us to do—to have eyes willing to see, and ears willing to hear, and hearts willing to participate wherever we can in redressing injustice and fostering the kind of community we were called to by the Holy One who made us stewards and called us friends." -- Marilyn McEntyre
 

-- 5 --

We're headed into the third week of Eastertide. I hope you're still celebrating - maybe even with champagne for breakfast, as N.T. Wright recommends!  On the blog, I'll be sharing a Sunday post each week, highlighting the Gospel accounts, great visual art, and some of my favorite literary quotations on the theme of resurrection life. I'm also excited to kick off the annual weekly Practice Resurrection photo contributions from friends all around the country (and globe). 

In the meantime, here's 271 of my favorite songs on the theme of Gospel resurrection. Enjoy!  


May you enjoy a weekend full of worship, love, and beauty, friends. Maybe even, champagne!

Eastertide, 2: Be believing

Today is the final day in the liturgical week known as the Easter Octave, but the celebration continues with a seven-week festival called Eastertide. We are celebrating by visiting our kids and friends in Texas! I'll be back by next Sunday, so stay tuned for a variety of celebratory posts here on the blog!

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio (source)

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio (source)

 
Later on

that day / the dark room

was enough

to concoct buttoned down,

in our minds.



While we lingered bolted-in,

shut-up / You

breezed past barricade as One

hole-pocked / exhaled

absolution, a hot gust

peace be with you;

materialized new —

as Yourself / awake & alive

after the woman’s claim

you spoke her name.



Afraid / our fingers

traced your split side

’til we inhaled

Your closer breathing,

our truer air.
— "Be Believing/John 20:19-30" (I wrote this poem a few years ago, inspired by the form Luci Shaw used in her poem, "Ascending.")

Today's readings: Acts 2:14a, 22-32, Psalm 16 , 1 Peter 1:3-9,  John 20:19-31

The Collect for the Second Sunday of Easter:

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer

Easter Saturday: Participating in God's creative act

Easter Sunday kicks off a week in the liturgical calendar known as the Easter Octave and a seven-week festival called Eastertide. Stay tuned for a variety of celebratory posts here on the blog!

Svabhu Kohl (source)

Svabhu Kohl (source)

 
Believing in the resurrection does not just mean assenting to a dogma and noting a historical fact. It means participating in this creative act of God’s … Resurrection is not a consoling opium, soothing us with the promise of a better world in the hereafter. It is the energy for a rebirth of this life. The hope doesn’t point to another world. It is focused on the redemption of this one.
— Jürgen Moltmann, "Jesus Christ for Today's World"

Easter Friday: Resurrection In every leaf

Easter Sunday kicks off a week in the liturgical calendar known as the Easter Octave and a seven-week festival called Eastertide. Stay tuned for a variety of celebratory posts here on the blog!

Blossom by Phil Greenwood (source)

Blossom by Phil Greenwood (source)

 
Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.
— Martin Luther