Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday is a Day to be Thankful! (Reminding Myself)

The Orthodox Church has a treasure trove of true things that every so often creep into my frenzied brain and park there, patient. Among them are the words, theosis, eucharisto, kyrie eleison... and there are also the ideas: the desert as a place of spiritual clarity, the cloud of witnesses as a great deal closer to us than we think, the Resurrection as victory and rescue in addition to propitiation.

Today, I remembered something Father Constantine told me my freshman year, in the midst of exploring Orthodoxy. "Every Sunday, Hilary," he said while smiling congenially at me from across his desk, "Every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection." I don't remember being floored by the idea at the time, and I imagine I nodded after he said that and filed it away to be considered later. But now, the idea comes back to me two years and many seasons of self later. Every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection. 

Last week was the liturgical calendar celebration. The one that we mark with annual traditions, with the seasons of the year, with the hymns we save for just that one Sunday. And there is grace in this yearly celebration. It is like watching our life, the purpose of our whole becoming, written out in bold and beautiful script. On Easter Sunday, we put a magnifying glass to the truth of every day: that He is not dead but alive! 

But today I remembered Father Constantine's words to me, and it made me wonder if I live out Easter thankfulness and Easter joy in all the nooks and crannies of my life, or if I save it, like my favorite hymns, for just one day a year. I woke up this morning with prayers of need: God, I whispered as I shrunk into my covers, I don't know why you've put all this on me but I need your help so you better help  me. I pray prayers of frustration: BUT WHY DON'T I KNOW THAT ALREADY? I pray prayers of desire: I really just want... 

But Sunday is a day to pray thankfulness for the Resurrection. A day to marvel at how the tulips in my front yard shiver in the warm sun and the breeze. A day to marvel that I have been surrounded by miraculous people, who buy me cupcakes and drink tea from chipped family mugs with me, who challenge me to behold beauty with them, who read this blog and teach me how to hear my own words. A day to marvel that things exist.

And when I really begin to celebrate the Resurrection on this Sunday in Easter season, on this Sunday of ordinary proportions, I want to run outside and dance in the afternoon sun and jump up and down because I have been freed and made whole and I am an Easter girl all the days of my life. 
(Thank you, Hannah Cochran)
Sometimes I forget that I can make all of my life a conversation about Easter. That I could make every thought, every action, every sympathetic or exasperated sigh and nod of my head, every giggle and every word - all of it could be about the new life on the vine. 

So I end praying with you, not from a prayer book, and not from a liturgy, but just from me:

Heavenly Father thank you that life begins with the Resurrection. Thank you that you remind me in the moments when I am tired of it that it is a gift from you. Thank you for the mercy that you teach me. Thank you for the people you entrust me to. Thank you that although I am weak and weary and though I can only lift my eyes up to the next hour you lift my whole self up to the sunrise. Thank you that above all, you make known to me in this beautiful world and in these small prayers the reality of your presence. Make me obedient to you, and may we ever yearn to live and grow into the promise of life and the celebration of the Resurrection. For you are holy, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


1 comment:

  1. Lovely and joyous. Here's to cupcakes on the deck on sunny Sundays! That picture made me laugh out loud.


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