This Lent I am using Sister Wendy Beckett’s ‘The Art of Lent’ as my daily devotional. Each day offers a work of art and a short thought. Each Sunday I will share what has struck me most during the week.
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
It should be easy to talk about Easter. It is the heart of our faith after all. And yet it is still a profound mystery. One that I feel both compelled and unable to express.
I wrote last year that I found Easter difficult because I never feel like I am doing it properly. That I do not truly feel the despair of Friday or the confusion of Saturday or the joy of Sunday because I know the whole story from the start.
At the time I felt guilty about that, but after a week sat with the Ecocycle Laybrinth, I have made my peace with it. The cycle of life and death and resurrection that we see in the Easter story is unique, but it is also everyday. We go through that same cycle many times in our lives, often with numerous cycles in different places at the same time.
We live in Friday and Saturday and Sunday all at the same time, so no wonder it is confusing and perhaps even foolish to try to separate them out. It is good to have particular days of rememberance, but it is also okay to dwell in the whole story, to know that Christ is in the suffering and the waiting and the rejoicing, not by turn but always.
None of that is anything to do with this week’s art. In fact it is probably a distraction away from the fact that I don’t have much to say about this week’s art. The painting that struck me most was Craigie Aitchison’s ‘Crucifixion’, but I’m not sure I can or even want to say why.
On second thoughts, perhaps what I said before does have something to do with it. The suffering of the cross is not denied, but it is also transcended by the light and the dove and the rainbow, and it may well be disturbed by whatever is growing beneath it. It is a confused and confusing image, and there is something reassuring about that.
This Easter I want to acknowledge the pain of Good Friday and the despair of Holy Saturday and the joy of Resurrection Sunday. Because Christ is in each of them with us, with solidarity and hope and celebration, but most of all with love.
Christ is with us. He is with us indeed. Alleluia!