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For those ready to greet this happy morn’,
Christ is risen!
For those with praise on the tips of their tongues,
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

And for those whose lenten journeys lag,
Christ is risen.
For those whose tombs resist the dawn,
He is risen indeed. Alleluia.

All the ways to say it
belong in the people’s refrain,
from the joyous proclamation to the barely mustered mumble.

But because the joy is amped on Easter,
may I say a word to the mumblers?

Don’t let the alleluias shame you,
as if you should get over it,
should have folded your grave clothes by now
and showed up, showered and shined.

Don’t let the sheer volume of voices
make you feel like you’re the only one who can’t sing it yet,
for some have taken the word in vain,
a liturgically convenient excuse to
wriggle out of dark places,
tight spaces,
dusting off death before it’s done any good work at all.

You are smart to sit with what still is for you,
what might be for another tomorrow,
what will likely come again,
this unmanageable dying and rising,
dying and rising.

May the church hold both its calendar and your kairos,
blend lament and alleluia into one song,
insist that the stories we honor shatter
the boundaries of a day.

In Christ who is all at once
the dying one,
the living one,
the coming one,
Alleluia, Amen.

Julie VanDerVeen Van Til

Julie VanDerVeen Van Til is a native mid-westerner living in San Francisco as a pastor, coach, and mom of middle schoolers. She embraces writing practices to keep her connected to her own soul as she helps others connect to theirs.

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