Writing Easter by Georgie Tennant

Today is Easter Monday. As we are still in such close proximity to the wonderful celebrations of yesterday, I hope you might indulge me in my belated sharing of some writing about Easter. Whenever these significant dates in the Christian calendar roll around (apparently ever faster, though I am told this is simply a sign of old age), I feel an excitement stirring in me – what rich subject matter for a Christian writer! Along with the excitement, however, comes a feeling of fear and dread. I can feel the buzz in my heart and mind growing, the end of my pen beginning to hum, yet I am paralysed into inaction by the overwhelming thought: how can I, a mere mortal with a pen, add anything fresh to all that has been written through the centuries? I hunt for fresh perspectives and ideas, but, ultimately, have to resign myself to the fact that there is, indeed, “nothing new under the sun,” and I should just enjoy the thrill of the chase, as I herd and cajole my unoriginal, unruly words into a form that I hope will speak to someone, somewhere on these awe-some dates. Two years ago, in Lockdown, the “fresh” idea that came to me was to portray a group of hiding and huddled people, hoping, as I wrote, to evoke from the reader intrigue about whether I was creating a collective image of Lockdown or of the disciples on Easter Saturday. As I shared it with my pastor, he floated the idea of it becoming spoken word poetry, presented on a video created by another member of our church. This was a new thing for me, and what an experience it was to see my words come to life in a new way. You can watch that poem here: https://fb.watch/bVvNw84eb_/ This year, upon being asked if I had anything suitable for the Easter Sunday service (and not being one to miss an opportunity), I took inspiration from my spoken-word experience and penned a rhyming poem – not my usual style but one I think works and is memorable in a church-reading context. Like Liz Carter, as she explained in her blog a couple of days ago, I am fascinated by Easter Saturday – the silence, the uncertainty. So in this poem, I tried to imagine the disciples that day, pondering whether they waited with hope or had given up on it completely during the darkness of that “in between” day. It has been a very poetry-filled week on the blog – I loved both Sheila Johnson’s earlier in the week, and Liz Carter’s a couple of days ago. If your heart has space for one poem more, I include it below. (If you prefer to have your poetry read to you, click on this link and navigate to 31:52, where I read it out in my church's Easter Service). Otherwise – happy Easter Monday – enjoy the last of your chocolate and hot cross buns! Easter Saturday As they huddled in the darknessof a sparsely furnished room,did they relive the crucifixion,faith and hope replaced by gloom? Did they while away the hours,exchanging looks and shaking heads?Did they talk of things he promised,Did they chew on words he said? Did they feel their lives were over?Did they mourn the wasted years?Did they share their awful heartbreakor try to hide their tears? Did someone dare to mentionthe time that Lazarus diedand Jesus spoke some simple wordsand grave clothes came untied? Did anyone dare to questionwhether this story would end the same?Did hope begin to stir in heartsas they spoke out his name? Did warmth and peace grow in that roomas they clamoured for a turnto remind all of the othersof the things they’d seen and learned? Of their quizzical delightwhen the water turn to wine?Of the time it took so little foodto make 5000 dine? Of the time the wind and wavesleft them all convinced they’d drown,but Jesus woke and spoke a wordand everything calmed down? Did they talk of when four friendslowered a fifth down through the roof,and how the fifth’s life changed that day,as he took hold of the truth? And as the darkness fadedand the sun rose in its gloryhad they rallied themselves to hopethere was still more to this story? And when the women came runningwith tales of an empty tombdid they exchange expectant glancesfrom the faith built in that room? And when at last he joined themin the room that had seemed so darkdid the peace he spoke, the wounds he showedcause hope to grow and spark? When we feel our lives are over,when we mourn our wasted years,can we give him all our heart break?Can we trust he counts our tears? Can we fan to flame fresh hope,as we start to speak his name?Can we dare to start believingthat our stories end the same? Will you hear his voice afresh today,speaking hope to darkest night,and take his hand and walk with himinto Easter morning’s light? Georgie Tennant is a secondary school English teacher in a Norfolk Comprehensive.  She is married, with two sons, aged 13 and 11 who keep her exceptionally busy. She writes for the ACW ‘Christian Writer’ magazine occasionally, and is a contributor to the ACW-Published ‘New Life: Reflections for Lent,’ and ‘Merry Christmas, Everyone.'  More recently, she has written 5 books in a phonics series, published by BookLife and has just written 3 more. She writes the ‘Thought for the Week’ for the local newspaper from time to time and also muses about life and loss on her blog: https://ift.tt/2sLhbGW http://dlvr.it/SNmKsm http://dlvr.it/SNmlwW http://dlvr.it/SNnDtN http://dlvr.it/SNnjr7

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