Run! Let's live in power going forward in that sacred knowing.

Easter Anthology

Pilate and Peter (and me)

The truth: Clean hands will not suffice

“What shall I do with Him called Christ?”
The truth:  clean hands will not suffice.
Your acts of treachery which rise
From disillusionment; your cries
Of protest which reveal your fear
Add to your guilt. Easter draws near.
Be still and let the rain of pure
Truth fall on you and make you sure.

The Body

Raise up the Body of Your Son and gain in us another one!
Incorporeal You are. Eyes
cannot see the face of God; prize
clues that tip Your holy hand;
We see what Your salvation planned.
Raise up the body of Your Son
and gain in us another one!


We know it!
Or at least, we profess to know it:  the truth of resurrection is foundational and credal. Even so, we hold fear and embrace darkness with steps weighted down. My prayer for us this Easter is that our steps and our hearts would be lightened by a new awareness of the truth of an empty tomb that spreads a layer of clear abundance across the sky of our lives throughout the year.

With Fear and Great Joy (Matthew 28:8)Run! Let's live in power going forward in that sacred knowing.

In the shadow of a lie, we
Know the truth:  The tomb was empty,
Yet we join the women at dawn
Knowing joy, but holding fear on
Hearts that know of resurrection,
But embrace death’s dark direction.
Run! Let’s live in power, going
Forward in that sacred knowing.


Poetry was meant to be heard, particularly rhymed poetry. The eye stops at the ends of lines and misses the scope of a sentence, but reading poetry aloud offers  the gift of a complete thought, rather than a series of bouncy phrases.

I confess to a certain prejudice against rhymed poetry.
When it’s good, it’s very good, but “Christian poetry” so often has settled for rollicking rhythm and cheap rhymes over content that I’ve hesitated even to experiment with it.

However, a few years ago I began playing with a very strict, metered form of rhymed couplets in iambic pentameter with eight syllables per line. (Can you find the line where I “cheated” on syllables?) This kind of verse is really more effective if it’s read aloud, so if you are in a place where you are able to, and if you have time, I encourage you to read this collection of poetry out loud to yourself.

Poet and theologian Rowan Williams observed that “poetry piles the pressure on theology–through imagery, sound, form, and figures of speech–to release wonder from the familiar.”

My hope is that you will enjoy that release of wonder somehow in the coming days, either through poetry or music or a fresh reading of Scripture that will enable you to penetrate the truth of Easter more deeply and to embrace it more passionately.

Jesus is Risen!
He is risen, indeed!

Going forward in that sacred knowing,

 


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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

75 thoughts on “Easter Anthology”

  1. These are wonderful Michele. I like “Be still and let the rain of pure
    Truth fall on you and make you sure.” and “Run! Let’s live in power, going
    Forward in that sacred knowing.” These graphics are wonderful, very impressive. Thank you for sharing your gift of poetry. ~ Abby

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really struggle with poetry. My husband is a much better poet than I. But this is beautiful! I like the idea of moving forward from Easter feeling lighter and freer because of its truth. In fact that’s what I’m praying for those participating in my Master Your Mess Lenten series. That we can leave some of our messes at the foot of the cross and move forward in the joy of Easter. Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations for “struggling” with poetry rather than just dismissing it. And that’s such a great image, Liz: leaving the mess behind and moving forward from the cross with joy!
      Thanks for reading.

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  3. Dear Michele,
    Thank you for sharing with us these beautiful truths that the Lord has brought home to your heart! Your first poem, especially, touched my heart:

    “What shall I do with Him called Christ?”
    The truth: clean hands will not suffice.

    Oh, such a question that arises when we stop to really think about Easter! We cannot just move through the yearly traditions when we let Him ask those questions in us. He does convict and cleanse in the deepest places. And I love the quote that expresses the gift that poetry has “to release wonder from the familiar.” Yes! I am surprised by that very gift so often! Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve held onto these for a few years, and until this year it did not even occur to me to share them. I’m glad to have finally put them “out there,” even with all my ambivalence. It’s easier when someone kind reads and responds, and, Bettie, that so often is YOU!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful, Michele. You should give it a go more often. My favorite bit is this: “Be still and let the rain of pure
    Truth fall on you and make you sure.” Amen. In Christ alone – our only true Truth. God bless you this Easter as you seek to rest in Him alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michele, you did a fabulous job with this! I admire anyone who can do poetry. It confuses the heck of out me, haha. My husband likes to write poetry, too. Thank you for sharing this, friend. It’s beautiful. (And no, I can’t tell where you cheated, b/c like I said, poetry confuses me, so I don’t understand all the rules anyway. hehe. Perhaps it’s like writing and you can cheat when you know the rules and choose how to break them. 🙂 ) xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not often that I follow “rules” with poetry, but these poems came out of a season when the strict meter and the syllable counting were serving a purpose in forcing me to express the truth within a framework. It’s fun to read poetry of all kinds, and to know that the point is in the beauty and the communication of image from one brain to another!
      Thanks for applying yourself here, Brenda!

      Like

  6. What a treat! You write poetry so beautifully and your writing always challenges me in good ways. I liked With Great Fear and Knowing. I have been focusing on Mary at the tomb- finding it empty and not sure what to feel. But running with joy and knowing reminds me that the resurrection is a time of joy. We live in the space between the resurrection and Jesus coming again. Thank you for this Easter blessing.

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    1. That’s so good to know, Mary.
      And I appreciate the way you described Mary’s condition of “not sure what to feel.” Isn’t that so often where we find ourselves?
      Thanks so much for reading!

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  7. Wonderful, Michele! This is my favorite:

    “We see what your salvation planned.
    Raise up the body of Your Son
    and gain in us another one!”

    I always have to at least whisper poetry outloud to grasp it, this is beautiful.

    Praise the Lord, He is risen! Forward in the sacred knowing : )

    Like

  8. I’ve had to come back around this morning with time to read aloud and ponder your work. Perfect timing after a discussion last night with my sanctifier about the incessant call for repentance and faith because our guilt is true, though it be forgiven, and how freeing to confess our sin rather than excusing or denying it…Thank you for the reminder of Easter truth which meets us continually in our sin. Clean hands will not suffice. The Cross does.

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    1. I hope I’m reading this generous assortment of comments in the right order. When you refer to your sanctifier are you talking about your husband, because if you are, that’s both hilarious and wonderful.
      And we do have the idea that our hands have to be washed before we come to the cross, but isn’t it providential that we have Easter every year to get us thinking about the sufficiency of the cross?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Jim is my sanctifier–Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved and gave Himself to sanctify her…By allusion, a husband’s love is to be a sanctifying love. Jim’s is for sure!

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I have to wonder if you were meditating in Hebrews, Michele, when #2 and #3 were written. Words march into my mind echoing and affirming the paradox of an incorporeal God taking on a body… from Heb. 2:10
    “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” The last lines are beautiful once grasped. Reminding me of the surprises George Herbert tucked into his lines! Have you read him?

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    1. I’ve been doing a lot of Hebrews thinking these days because I’m reading Piper’s The Passion of Jesus Christ which is a collection of 50 short thoughts on what Jesus death accomplished for us, and between Romans 8 and the book of Hebrews, I’m having my brain soaked in soteriology every night before I turn out the light. (Probably not the best time to read Piper . . .)
      And YES, I’m reading and re-reading Herbert’s Easter Wings these days. Somehow he manages to write about decay and shame in the same breath as victory and having my wing engrafted to the risen Christ’s, and I just keep reading. He’s one of the reasons why I haven’t given up on rhymes all together.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Add to the above Heb 2:14,15–“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death…and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
    Thank-you Michele for stirring up the wonder of the Word with such apt words!

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    1. I have seen that you also like to write in response to some glorious truth that has tripped you or stood up and hollered at you in your reading. One of the greatest gifts of this blogging life is having a place to put all the words. The other great gift is having friends to share them with who read and start conversations. So thank you!! Linda, I always enjoy hearing your insights on things.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Run! Let’s live in power, going
    Forward in that sacred knowing.
    “…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us!”
    He lives, erasing fears for tomorrow with perfect HOPE! Thanks for sharing the poetry of your life, Michele!

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    1. That’s the phrase that’s been playing itself over and over in my head as I hear Easter-ish music and as I pulled my rolls for Easter dinner out of the oven today. (Thankful that this recipe freezes well. We’ve got at least a dozen here for dinner and I’ve never been able to figure out how to do all the church stuff on Easter Sunday and then pull off an unflustered Easter dinner unless I start doing SOMETHING in advance.)

      Like

    2. Also, I wanted to ask how you are doing with our friend Gilbert Keith Chesterton? I am slowly making my way through chapter 5, thinking all the while that I should be much farther ahead, but also knowing that I still need to write about chapter 4.

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  12. I have just laboriously finished my thoughts on Chapter 4. If you let me know when you post yours I’ll post mine at the same time… I haven’t cracked Chapter 5. You’re going at a fine speed ( : Slow and steady wins the race!

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  13. Michele, I think I’ve been amiss at visiting your blog. So glad I found it today, and I enjoyed reading; especially your poetry. Would love to see your sharings at Sunday Scripture Blessings.
    Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

    Like

  14. Lovely poetry, Michele. And much more effective when read aloud. Holy Week is so full of ups and downs for me. The road to resurrection is emotional and wrought with agony. The full Easter experience makes Easter morning so much more glorious. Happy Easter to you!

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  15. I don’t always slow down enough to really enjoy poetry as I should. This is good, Michele. “My prayer for us this Easter is that our steps and our hearts would be lightened by a new awareness of the truth of an empty tomb that spreads a layer of clear abundance across the sky of our lives throughout the year.” Amen.

    Like

  16. I love poetry. I found that often things can be said through poetry that can not be said any other way. There is a heart and soul in poetry that only exists when we let ourselves get lost in the flow of the words. Thanks for sharing it at #WoW Words on Wednesday.

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  17. Run! Let’s live in power, going
    Forward in that sacred knowing. <—– THIS! How much we need to be motivated forward by the sacred knowing that Jesus is alive and is seated in power at the right hand of the Father! Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. However, a few years ago I began playing with a very strict, metered form of rhymed couplets in iambic pentameter with eight syllables per line…. girlfriend? THIS is why I stick to HAIKU. 5.7.5. Amen.

    Like

  19. I absolutely love your poetry, Michele! It’s so beautiful and full of meaning and sounds wonderful read aloud. Oh, and I found the line where you “cheated” 🙂 “clues that tip Your holy hand;” (couldn’t resist) lol Much love to you and many blessings, dear Michele! xo And thank you so much for being a faithful contributor to our #LMMLinkup!

    Like

    1. Gayl, I think you are the first one to take the challenge of finding the “cheat” with that missing syllable, but that does not surprise me, because I know that you are a syllable counter for your haiku habit. 🙂
      Thanks for your role as host! So appreciated!

      Like

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