Easter Saturday: Christ holds all things together

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!

     Outreach of the New Covenant  by Shin Young-Hun ( source )

 

Outreach of the New Covenant by Shin Young-Hun (source)

 

The Christ Hymn

Everything holds together, everything,
From stars that pierce the dark like living sparks,
To secret seeds that open every spring,
From spanning galaxies to spinning quarks,
Everything holds together and coheres,
Unfolding from the center whence it came.
And now that hidden heart of things appears,
The first-born of creation takes a name.

And shall I see the one through whom I am?
Shall I behold the one for whom I’m made,
The light in light, the flame within the flame,
Eikon tou theou, image of my God?
He comes, a little child, to bless my sight,
That I might come to him for life and light.

In whom all things hold together

And when we had invented death,
had severed every soul from life
we made of these our bodies sepulchers.
And as we wandered dying, dim
among the dying multitudes,
He acquiesced to be interred in us.
And when He had descended thus
into our persons and the grave
He broke the limits, opening the grip,
He shaped of every sepulcher a womb.

In whom all things hold together

And this is he
Who takes all that he is
And bestows it freely
Gives meekly
Takes infinite power and bows the knee
Have you ever seen God on the ground?
Palms pressed to the floor
Sweat dripping on the dirt
The cut and stretch of being human
A sacred shelter of presence
Fullness of He, creator of kingdoms and galaxies,
principalities
And every moment crafted through time, the divine,
Placed wholly in human flesh,
The infinite squashed down into finite,
Like fitting ten thousand angels on the top of a pin
Like the entire ocean is poured into a pool
Like the wine is running over
Like it’s bursting at the seams
The Christ
He is bursting at the seams

In whom all things hold together

Anticipating long stretches of nothingness
we plunge south into California on I-5,
prepared to be bored, uninterested in the view,
and a bit worried that we too may

commit monotony. But then, over us, clouds
contribute their lenticular magnitude to
the two-dimensional—carved by winds into
stream-lined eagles or space craft or B-52s.

I take sky photos through the windshield,
admitting that in spite of anonymity, there is never
nothing. Required to obey gravity,
we occupy open space with substance,

all of us on the skin of the planet created
to lift against the earth’s pull, yet sustained entirely.
We live out our singularity along with olive and
almond trees, oleanders, tarmac, huge trucks,

until size becomes irrelevant: smoke blue coastal range,
stem of dry grass, brittle eucalyptus leaf,
pebble ground into the ground—each bears love’s print,
is held particular within the universe.

Even the small, soft moth on the window of
the rest area’s dingy washroom, unaware of our scrutiny,
its russet wings traced with intricacies of gray,
owns an intrinsic excellence.

In whom all things hold together
THE CHRIST HYMN, music and chorus by Alana Levandoski, poetry by Malcolm Guite, Scott Cairns, Joel McKerrow, Luci Shaw

Listen to The Christ Hymn by Alana Levandoski: SpotifyYouTube

Artist's statement from the Behold, I Make All Things New album liner notes:

"When I initially discovered that the first chapter of Colossians contains an early hymn, my imagination was sparked with wanting to make a work of art about it. In the end, to do this better justice, I enlisted four great poets of our time to dance with this hymn. I asked Malcolm Guite, Scott Cairns, Joel McKerrow and Luci Shaw to contribute a recitation to this composition. While I gave them each a line from the hymn, they also spent time with the hymn in its entirety.

These are the lines:

To Malcolm, I gave — He is the image of the unseen God, the firstborn of all creation.

To Scott, I gave — He is the firstborn from the dead.

To Joel, I gave — God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.

To Luci, I gave — Every creature in heaven and earth

Get full album: www.alanalevandoski.com


(Read Eastertide posts from previous years here.)