I came across this poem of Wendell Berry’s some time ago and read it again yesterday. Like Stanley Spencer’s amazing pictures of the resurrection at Port Glasgow and at Cookham, it roots the rising from the dead at the end of the age firmly on planet earth, and tries to give vent to the imagination and the joy of the event.
Of course there are those who have no hope of this at all, and cannot see why we as Christians believe it. However, Paul’s words – if we have only for this life believed, then we are of all men most to be pitied – seem to me not just to be theological, but logical. We live with a sense of what is to come just by living. We have a sense of the purposefulness of joy even as we live and breathe.
And so, cycling along past Lodge Lake in Great Holm on the way to school this morning in just the second frost that we have had this winter, I was again conscious of the authority of Jesus’ resurrection in creation and in our lives, and have lived today in the confidence that I am both loved and blessed and can and do live with the hope of resurrection resonating within each step.
The Russian word for Sunday is воскресенье – it means resurrection, and is a way of reminding us that on a weekly basis we can stand before a risen Christ, one who longs to imbue his people with the power to live. 2 Peter 1 says that his divine power has given us everything we need for life (and godliness) (v.3).
Trying to avail myself of that this week has not been easy, and it contains in itself, as in Berry’s poem, the willingness to endure loss and pain and the hardships of love, but it is the right way to live, and worth pursuing.