Easter is passed, and, like any Holiday, once it is gone, it is easily forgotten. (And, for those who celebrated lent, it is perhaps pleasant to forget!) Yet the significance of the Holy Day transcends its chronological passing. As one day of the year, it has come and gone more than two-thousand times before, and will come and go again next year. The truth of the rising of our Lord, however, persists this Tuesday as much as it did last Sunday; the effect of his rising resounds as much today as the day of his ascension.
Let us remember, therefore, the recent Holiday, and the timelessness of that Holiness of which it is a celebration, in the pleasing words of George Herbert.
“Rise heart ; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise With him mayst rise
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more just.
Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part With all thy art. The crosse taught all wood to resound his name Who bore the same. His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key Is best to celebrate this most high day.
Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song Pleasant and long : Or since all music is but three parts vied, And multiplied ; O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part, And make up our defects with his sweet art
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.
The Sunne arising in the East, Though he give light, and th’ East perfume ; If they should offer to contest With thy arising, they presume.
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.”