Prepare for Joy: Easter Up

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There is a fragrance in the air,
a certain passage of a song,
an old photograph falling out from the pages of a book,
the sound of somebody’s voice in the hall
that makes your heart leap and fills your eyes with tears.
Who can say when or how it will be
that something easters up out of the dimness
to remind us of a time before we were born and after we will die?

God himself does not give answers. He gives himself.
~Frederick Buechner from Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale

 

The wild plum trees have been blooming now for a couple weeks and the flowering cherries are about to burst.  This despite 20 degree nights after nearly 60 degree days.  It is winter at night and the perfumed air of spring permeates the day. Such extreme variability is disorienting, like standing in a spotlight in a dark room.

Yet this is what eastering is like.  It is the awakening out of a restless sleep, the opening of a door to let in fresh air, the rolling back of the stone that has locked us in.

He is not only risen.  He is given.

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Shades of Graying

Featuring fifty shades of farm gray

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I could weep for a quiet love like this, the kind of love they don’t write movies about, but the Maker writes down in a book of His own.
It’s not the kind of flashy that makes any red carpet, but it’s the kind of unforgettable love that runs red.
It doesn’t matter one iota what the checkout glossies tout: Sacrifice is the most attractive of all.
And boring love is what touches the deepest– our lives boring down deep into each other’s hearts.
And I have loved you as the hero-of-few-words who has rescued me day in and day out, without any fanfare or flash.
You have lived and bore the weight of it —- I am far worse than I ever dreamed.
And yet you have loved me beyond what I could ever dream.
You have lived Gospel to me.
~Ann Voskamp  from aholyexperience.com

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On a day celebrated for honoring Love,
I grieve that women — mothers and daughters
who know nothing of slavery,
who know nothing but freedom,
seek out and pay out
for a fantasy of seduction,
blinded and bound by books and movie
that have nothing to do
with honor or love.

Give me boring gray love rich in so many shades:
love that bores deep into the other’s heart
and stays,
enduring,
before, throughout and beyond the gray.

The shades of gray in my life
will not be covered with dye and make believe,
but celebrated as reflecting
love not forsaken,
not for any one
or any reason.

We declare it to all who are to come after.

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Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Psalm 71:18

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graymirror

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A Canticle for Advent: Go Where I Send Thee

photo by Julie Garrett
photo by Julie Garrett

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee one by one
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee two by two
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee three by three
Three for the Hebrew children

Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee four by four
Four for the four that stood at the door

Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee five by five
Five for the gospel preachers

Four for the four that stood at the door
Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee six by six
Six for the six that never got fixed
Five for the gospel preachers

Four for the four that stood at the door
Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee seven by seven
Seven for the seven that never got to heaven

Six for the six that never got fixed
Five for the gospel preachers
Four for the four that stood at the door
Three for the Hebrew children

Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee eight by eight
Eight for the eight that stood at the gate

Seven for the seven that never got to heaven
Six for the six that never got fixed
Five for the gospel preachers
Four for the four that stood at the door

Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
And one for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee nine by nine
Nine for the nine all dressed so fine

Eight for the eight that stood at the gate
Seven for the seven that never got to heaven
Six for the six that never got fixed
Five for the gospel preachers

Four for the four that stood at the door
Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee ten by ten
Ten for the ten commandments

Nine for the nine all dressed so fine
Eight for the eight that stood at the gate
Seven for the seven that never got to heaven
Six for the six that never got fixed
Five for the gospel preachers

Four for the four that stood at the door
Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee eleven by eleven
Eleven for the eleven deriders

Ten for the ten commandments
Nine for the nine all dressed so fine
Eight for the eight that stood at the gate
Seven for the seven that never got to heaven

Six for the six that never got fixed
Five for the gospel preachers
Four for the four that stood at the door
Three for the Hebrew children

Two for Paul and Silas
One for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee twelve by twelve
Twelve for the twelve Apostles

Eleven for the eleven deriders
Ten for the ten commandments
Nine for the nine all dressed so fine
Eight for the eight that stood at the gate

Seven for the seven that never got to heaven
Six for the six that never got fixed
Five for the gospel preachers
Four for the four that stood at the door

Three for the Hebrew children
Two for Paul and Silas
And one for the little bitty, baby
Who’s born, born, born in Bethlehem
He was born, born, born in Bethlehem

Children, go where I send thee
How shall I send thee?
~Traditional Gospel

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.
John 20:21