Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Hope is alive again

For He is Risen. The man like all men - and yet utterly different. God came down, into his own creation, where he lived, ate, worked, prayed - and preached. Jesus Christ. Not simply the man whose life was "most touched by the divine" (as wibbly, wobbly, radical ersatz-conservative Andrew Sullivan put it). But life itself: the breath that surged into our souls and gave us life when we were fresh formed from dust and smaller than a thumb, vulnerable in our mother's womb. Life itself: so lively that his mere words, simple commands, demanded and shaped the world into existence. Such life overflowing that a touch of his hand healed (and whose Spirit heals still) whilst a word dropped from his mouth spilled star-systems throughout infinity. Power, power, power - and yet he knew what it was to weep, and to fear, and to suffer.

He suffered like a champion, an invincible warrior - beaten, bloodied, mocked, hobbling under the weight of his wooden load, and yet, within this, in his staggering, awful journey, there's the sure march of a soldier to a battle. He submits to their nails and taunts, in the greatest undercover military operation in history. In go the nails, up goes the cross, out spin the dice as his clothes are bartered away. He is vanquished. He is beaten. He is finished.

And in that single, final moment, as he "gives up the ghost", all is reversed. The great plot-twist of humanity that few saw coming. Proud Death, and proud executors, stand happy with their work. But Death has let into itself no mere man: Death, the enemy of Creation and its Creator, has let in that being whose dominion is without end, the one perfection of history; Death has let in Life. Three days pass - and we hear only rumours on the wind of what precisely happened; stories of preaching to the captives of hell, stories of Christ cutting off the chains from Abraham, Jacob, David, and all others righteous but without Salvation, and carrying them behind him as he fought his way out.

We know, at least, what finally happened. We know that, on that Sunday, that essential day - that day began the New Epoch for man. In a small, unassuming tomb in the hills of Israel, a body wrapped in grave-clothes stirs. Perhaps but a wriggle of a knee, a yawn, or an itch - with even an awkward stretch of his bound-up legs, the victory is announced! And all the vast systems and processes and ways of the world and mankind - decay, misery, hopelessness, fear, isolation, poverty, hatred, despair, envy, darkness in all its forms – are disarmed. When we call on his name and serve him, they are destroyed. He sits up, alive again – this is the time for our victory horn, this is our flag, raised aloft above all evil, this is the CNN bulletin announcing a successful end to combat operations in Eternity.

He is with us and at last we live with hope. For hope itself, life itself, every embodiment of all good – whose goodness language’s superlatives merely subdivide and gesture to, though unknowingly – is back, having, in this, broken and rubbished Death, satan and hell all to pieces.

He is Risen. He is with us. Let us kneel and worship the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ of Nazareth, 0BC – Forever.

Happy Easter.

2 comments:

redtown said...

from the Easter Exsultet:

This is the night when Jesus Christ
broke the chains of death...
What good would life have been to us
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave
you gave away your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God,
to see Christ rising from the dead!...
The power of this holy night
dispels all evil, washes guilt away,
restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy,
casts out hatred, brings us peace.
Amen. Alleluia!

Juliana said...

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

"O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen."

- The Paschal Sermon of Saint John Chrysostom