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Easter Meditation: “Let us not make it less monstrous…”

April 20, 2011

My friend, singer/songwriter Staci Frenes ( – check her out), posted this today and I thought I’d share it here with you as well.

Seven Stanzas at Easter
John Updike

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 thing painted in the faded credulity
of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier mache,
not 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 make it less monstrous,
for in our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour,
we are embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kaitlyn permalink
    April 20, 2011 12:02 pm

    How cool that you posted this…I read a short story by John Updike at the beginning of this semester.

  2. nita neall permalink
    April 29, 2011 2:30 pm

    Nice, but what does the line “the Church will fall..” mean?

  3. April 30, 2011 12:02 pm

    I believe he’s echoing Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 15:14: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

    He’s claiming that the doctrine of the resurrection is a non-negotiable for Christian faith.

  4. May 14, 2011 2:46 pm

    I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information. I’ll definitely add this great post in my article section.

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