four Easter meditations in a time of isolation

Easter Sunday: blindside

In every adventure 
there comes a moment, 
a critical juncture,
where it looks bleak:
it’s all over bar the shouting 
all is lost

The company teeters on the brink of defeat;
the hero falls to his knees,
sword knocked from his hand;
the onlookers gasp collectively in horror and dismay 
awaiting the coup de grace

Until at the eleventh hour something shifts:
blindside plot twist,
with a flick of the wrist the champion arises,
disarms the enemy –
Behold, miraculous victory!

But Sunday
Your eleventh hour finale
was like and yet unlike this tale;
opening with a dawn so pale
no chance of intervention, 
so it seemed to your people;
for our Hope was not only dead
but buried deep behind boulders
hostile guards and bleak despair 

Then Your eleventh hour 
indeed the glorious deus ex machina
that unexpected acceleration in the drama
Hope unlooked for 
He is risen!

But shouldn’t we have been looking?
After all, Hope had been instructing us for years:
the script made plain,
the secret ambush public knowledge;
the great plot twists of history
laid out in prophecy
for all to see
if only we’d the eyes  

And just in case we’d missed it, 
the Word repeated:
The Son of Man has come
not to overthrow a King, 
but to die as one
My time is near but do not fear – 
Wait, there’s more!

We should not have been surprised
and yet we were… and are…
so often

At the work of the Master of the penultimate pivot
turning defeat into triumph
loss in gain
death into life –
why such surprise

And yet again there is more:
for the true eleventh hour has not yet been reached;
may we truly, fully, sustain our hope this time
so we are met not with a blindside,
stunned and disbelieving
(save that one for the enemy,
and even he
should know better by now)

May we be found in a shout of welcome surprise
Christus Victor!
as in joyous recognition
we too shall rise

Luke 24:5-7 “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”

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