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Jesus' body

Here is a timely prayer by Walter Brueggemann from his book Prayers for a Privileged People (Abingdon Press 2008).

Easter in the Very Belly of Nothingness

Death will be all right for us when it comes. But dying is another matter — so slow, so painful, so humiliating.

Death will be a quick turn, the winking of an eye, but dying turns and twists and waits and teases.

We have not died, but we know about dying: We watch the inching pain of cancer, the oozing ache of alienation, the tears of stored up hurt.

We can smell the dying of bombs and shells,  of direct hit and collateral damage, of napalm spread thin and even of cities turned craters, of Agent Orange that waits years to show, and lives turned to empty stare.

We watch close or distant; we brace and stiffen, and grow cynical or uncaring.

And death wins — we, robbed of vitality, brought low by failed hope, lost innocence, emptied childhood, and stillness. 

We keep going, but barely; we gather at the grave, watching the sting and the victory of dread.

But you stir late Saturday; we gather early Sunday with balm and embracing, close to the body. waiting for the smell but not; dreading the withered site… but not; cringing love lost… but not here.

Not here… but risen, gone, awakened, alive!

The new creation stirs beyond the weeping women; O death… no sting! O grave… no victory! O silence… new song! O dread… new dance! O tribulation… now overcome!

O Friday God — Easter the failed city, Sunday the killing fields. And we, we shall dance and sing, thank and praise, into the night that holds no more darkness.