“Let him easter in us,
be a dayspring to the dimness of us,
be a crimson cresseted east.”
These lines from Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, “The Wreck of the Deutschland”, catch my attention. Perhaps it is his curious use of Easter as a verb. Perhaps it is the awakening of hope and joy that they engender in me.
Just as spring thaws the frozen earth, God wants to melt the cold, frozen places within us so that Christ can rise to new life in us. By virtue of his death and resurrection, the life of the Risen Christ courses through our flesh and blood, a living stream of life. It is for us to give Christ’s life to one another.
Christ Easters in us when we allow him to open our eyes, our minds and our hearts so that his light and merciful love can flow freely through us to others.
Christ Easters in us when love casts out fear, faith overcomes doubt, and discouragement and despair give way to hope. We let Christ Easter in us by letting him melt our indifference and by doing what we can to lessen one another’s burdens, by listening and trying to understand one another, and by our efforts to bring justice and peace to fruition.
In a post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus, Thomas captures our attention. Deeply shaken by Jesus’ crucifixion and death, Jesus knew Thomas needed to see and experience his presence before he could believe in the astounding reality of his Resurrection. He turns to Thomas with patient tenderness, inviting him to believe. Thomas, seeing Christ’s wounds, responds with the greatest expression of faith in who Christ was to be found in the gospels: “My Lord and My God!”
Like Thomas we sometimes struggle to believe. God knows our deepest needs, our doubts and our failings. He invites us to let Christ Easter in us by living in the truth that God’s love for us is boundless and that Jesus Risen lives in us.
As spring’s inimitable lacey green adorns our trees, may new growth in hope and joy take root in each of our lives during this Easter season!