Driving into work this morning the downtown skyscrapers seemed protected by a bubble-wrap of clouds, with regularly positioned pinprick rays of light glinting from the eastern sun. At one point traffic slowed to a halt, so I closed my eyes while listening to the strains of Weber and basked in the heat of the seat warmer.
Later - beautiful, freshly ladled sun streams in through the company lobby window. I find that New Grange-ian, equinoxical spot where the sun is at the perfect angle to fully bathe my face and body. Soon it will traverse behind another building and fractionalize.
Read over the Easter vigil again today. I think part of the magic of the night was knowing its length one did not strain at gnats. There was no sense of hurry which is sort of counter-intuitive. But it seemed like we were outside time in the same way on a retreat you're not hustling anywhere. Another part of the magic was the deft handling of the readings and psalms. They had different readers for each and different instrumentation on the music.
Two things jumped out at me during the readings: one was how Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac and Isaac was given back to him. I've always tended to think that God didn't do the same with his Son - he sacrificed Christ. But the words to one of the prayers said the truth, that just as Isaac was given back to Abraham, Jesus was given back to God, whole and entire. I never looked at it that way before even though it should've been obvious. God didn't "lose" his Son. Christ's death was real but ineffective and so in that sense not real. Too often I tend to look at the Crucifixion as a tragedy when, in reality, it has a happy ending.
The second thing I noticed was how often I see we sinners in the role of Isaiah 54 and yet it could be about Christ, who took on our sin: "For a brief moment I abandoned you / but with great tenderness I will take you back." Isn't that the story of the Cross and Resurrection?
Finally these verses seem to apply well to the Resurrection: "O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled, I lay your pavements in carnelians, and your foundations in sapphires; I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of carbuncles, and all your walls of precious stones." That last clause, about your walls being made of precious stones, reminds me of how the temple of Christ's body, his walls being his body and blood, have become as precious stones for us.
I also loved the inclusion of verses from some of the great chapters in Isaiah as well as the more obscure book of Baruch. It was like a "greatest hits" collection of Scripture.
A post from another blog prompts this reverie: I wonder if it's presumptuous to presume that if I'm aware of the possibility of presumption then I'm not presumptuous.
Beginning of Donald Miller book:
"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music.
Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."