Sunday, 24 April 2011

Seven Stanzas at Easter

    Make no mistake: if He rose at all
    it was as His body;
    if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
    reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
    the Church will fall.

    It was not as the flowers,
    each soft Spring recurrent;
    it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
    eyes of the eleven apostles;
    it was as His Flesh: ours.

    The same hinged thumbs and toes,
    the same valved heart
    that—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then
    regathered out of enduring Might
    new strength to enclose.

    Let us not mock God with metaphor,
    analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
    making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
    faded credulity of earlier ages:
    let us walk through the door.

    The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
    not a stone in a story,
    but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
    grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
    the wide light of day.

    And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
    make it a real angel,
    weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
    opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
    spun on a definite loom.

    Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
    for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
    lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
    embarrassed by the miracle,
    and crushed by remonstrance.

John Updike

Christ is Risen!

Death is dead
Love has won
Christ has conquered
Stuart Townend

Friday, 22 April 2011

Cherubim & curtain

A collection of verses inspired by today's page in Explore.

After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. 
Genesis 3:24

Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker ... The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. 
Exodus 26:31,33

The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die.
Leviticus 16:2

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 
Matthew 27:50-51 
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain ... let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:19-23

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A fact which should be more widely known

The copyright of a picture drawn by a freelance illustrator belongs to the illustrator, unless there is a contract to the contrary.

Monday, 11 April 2011

A useful culinary tip

Tarantulas are best served toasted like marshmallows.
BBC Human Planet: Jungle

Should you ever wish to eat one...