O For a Thousand Tongues


The gulls were back tonight. Singing at the top of their tiny lungs and flying with vigor in circles over my head. I sat in wonder at their stamina and work just surviving in this hostile world, searching for food and sustenance before nightfall.

The moon must be full tonight. Over the river it reflected light in tiny waves headed for shore in a much calmer way than they did last night. Gulls and Moon, you reminded me that it is Holy Saturday. Jesus is in the tomb. His friends are sad and scared. The women are planning an early morning visit to where you are. They want to anoint you… as it you are not already anointed. O Jesus, Saturday is part of the mystery. What is happening in your tomb?

Tonight we had a dinner that was our traditional Easter dinner…. Ham, potato salad, deviled eggs, green beans and strawberry short cake. An ordinary menu for an extraordinary night. Our Carolina Hurricanes were in a playoff game. We had a young guest whom we have known all his life, but who had never had a meal at our house. Nick is a musician. Conversation was smart and lively. Easter blessing came early to us.

When everybody went home, I went to the porch to eat dessert and look at the moon and reflect on the goodness of life, the times of struggle, the times of the tomb and the promise of dawn and Resurrection. This is the first Easter that I have not preached Easter Sunrise in a lot of years. Other than the time when Mary went to the phone, I have done pretty well.

If I had all the tongues of the gulls to sing praise, I would employ every one of them to sing Resurrection… Christ is risen! Life and Light are Christ’s gift to us. It is mystery except that we live it in the joy; it is transcendent except that we live it in real time, in strawberry shortcake and full moons and the love we feel for one another.

Wake up early tomorrow, like Mary. Go to the garden, the Journey Garden or Camp Don Lee, or wherever you go and see for yourself. Feel the cool air and listen for the birds. They know. The Christ who has taught us and healed us and walked with us is not lost to us. Jesus is ours always in the resurrection we claim. Alleluia! Alleluia! Easter Blessings to you all! Amen.

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One Response to O For a Thousand Tongues

  1. Sybil Austin Skakle says:

    Beautiful! Love the imagery , except was startled by the phrase, “except Mary going to the phone.” The last paragraph explained who Mary was and that it was to the tomb she went. Easter is my favorite holiday, because it is all about the great and glorious morning of Resurrection to which we are heirs, through Christ Jesus Our Lord. Thank you, Tom, for sharing your beloved’s thoughts with us.

    I know a friend of yours here at Carol Woods, John Espenshade.

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