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I got me flowers to straw thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.
In this stanza from George Herbert’s poem Easter, the poet evokes the beauty and potential of a spring morning; he imagines himself preparing to greet the risen Christ with flowers and greenery only then to realise that God has been at work already, reaching behind and beyond time. Jesus, having plumbed the depths of mortality, has now conquered death itself. His victory trophy is the ‘sweets’, the spices and herbs used to embalm a dead body and now no longer needed. This is a Resurrection that emerges gradually but inexorably from the silent heart of God’s eternity into the consciousness of a joyfully redeemed humanity.
St Augustine called the day of Christ’s Resurrection ‘the eighth day’. By this he meant that Christ’s Resurrection ushered in a new
creation constituted by the redeemed humanity for whom Christ died. This is our Easter joy! Our Easter task is to share this joy with
others in word and in action. We are called to play our part in transforming our communities, even as we are being transformed
into the image of the living Christ, until we finally know in all its fullness God’s eternal Eastertide that Herbert hints at in the final
stanza of his poem:
Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.
With Easter blessings to all friends of Wakefield Cathedral, far and near.
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