Spoken word(s) from Pastor Ivar on our starlight/space inspired Easter Vigil.
In the beginning, God danced
Big bang, galaxies sent spinning
Space spanning three in one holy singularity,
A seed of light.
Dead first. Crack. Then life.
An empty-tombed big boom, womb bloomed blossoming plume
Star arks, sparked to life, traversing the sparse dark.
Then God filed her subatomic particles of incorporation.
And in time, protons, neutrons, electrons spawned atomic bonds, bound.
Primordial elements were drawn together like gathered treasures, gravity tethered.
Stardust into earth crust.
And God’s Spirit rushed over the face with a hushed gust, brushed the surface
H2O, where single-celled life would grow
Crawl slow onto land, evolve up human and stand,
Adam from Adamah, Hebrew
Human from humus. We’re dirt people.
Out of the brown ground life is found.
Earth bound, dirt crowned crowning
God labored, loved, created, delivered.
Then this, a kiss – bliss – we’re born breath blessed, beloved lovers,
Starry eyes opened up baptized in the skies
All of this creation to us is given,
God gives the unequaled gift of earth and of heaven,
She says, please care for the earth and love your neighbor,
Forgive for God, give thanks in your labor.
Feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, care for the sick, set prisoners free
Give all of yourself…but don’t eat from this tree,
Don’t try to own or covet the knowledge of God
You’ll begin to see your gifts as irrevocably flawed
Begin judging for yourself the worth of all things
Raising yourself up, establishing kings,
Building towers, claiming power,
Finding more and more to consume and devour.
Forgetting the weak, the poor and the lonely
All of this is mine and it’s mine only
I want it all, all for me
All of this world on a bended knee
Everything given as a gift for one
All for one, and one for none.
Dominate, control, sell souls, sheol goals, dirty coal burned scripture scrolls
Unnaturally natural gas fracked, smokestacked selfish acts, Eucharistic snack packs, military contracts, maxed out church tax, and 4 easy payments of $39.99 for holy artifacts.
Let the candle wax, drip drop down to the ground.
Darkness all around.
In so many ways, our lives are a fraud
because God gets in our way of becoming god.
Selfish heart’s content, we rarely repent,
But God does not relent.
God just keeps giving the same gift she meant, and heaven’s ripped, rent – God in Christ was sent
To show the world the world God dreamt.
Giving self, serving fully, showing us how ordinary things, people, are holy.
But even amidst our tentative disciple whims and our Palm Sunday Hosanna Hymns,
We betrayed him, denied him, doubted him, and killed him.
Entombed in the earth, Christ dead
Wrapped up linen mummy clothed, casketed, encased, broken body like buckwheat bread.
And we’ve become victims of our own devices
Turning on each other, covering the stench of death with our spices.
And just as I have done unto others, others have done unto me,
Nailed by the same nails I used to nail Jesus to the tree.
Kicked down 6 deep in the dug up dirt, dropped off, doomed, pain dulled, left for dead,
I’m drying the dying cries in my eyes, the lies and failed tries, the driven drive to colonize and demonize,
And dirt rains down on my back, death itself trying to bury me,
it says I’m nothing, no one to love me, no one to carry me
Intensely I’m tempted, enraptured attention, to test my intention
to just sleep there stiff, stagnant and still,
let dirt fall in the hole, fill it all up full to filled,
What if I just close my eyes, accept death’s sweet sorrowed story
Let it write me forever as worthless, let it burn me in purgatory
But then, my sleepy eyes narrowed closed close to shut, stone tomb door rolled tight,
At the edge of my vision, there, that very first seed of light – Christ.
Just lying there with me, earthward in its own little tomb
And I remember these words from our scriptural womb
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains just a single grain; but if it dies – it flies”
and with a crack, death then life, it flew,
fear freed, faith formed, earth birthed, bursting forth,
Big bang, expanding expanse, galaxies sent spinning,
light pouring forth, like in the beginning.
So crawling to my knees, I scoop hands down to the earth
So that I might remember and love the dirt of my birth,
With a handful of dust falling through my fingers
That feeling of loss, of longed for belonging still lingers
This, this is the same dirt that came from the stars
The same storied stardusted source that was ours.
I’m still down in the grave and the dirt keeps on coming
Each shovelful rains down like broken bread crumbing.
So like the strong-willed woman under Christ’s ancient table
I grab hold of life’s crumbs and rewrite death’s fable.
You are not enough it says, dirt rains down
But I just shake it off, and trample it into the ground.
Little by little, that stamped down dirt, the same holy earth of my beloved birth,
Fills in my tomb, raises the grave, If I don’t let it cover me, I know I’ll be saved.
You are not beautiful enough, dirt rains on down.
I Shake it off, stomp it down and Rise Up from the ground.
You aren’t successful enough, death’s dirt rains down
Shake it off, stomp it down and rise up from the ground
You aren’t likeable enough, dirt rains down.
Shake it off, stomp it down and rise up from the ground
Buy more, be more, work more, earn more.
Dirt just keeps coming and coming, pouring forth,
But in the waters of baptism I already died, so with Christ, that seed of light, I rise.
And oh my stars, this resurrected, life giving joy is ours
Past all of our scars like broken prison bars,
We are freed to love and fly, one with earth and one with sky
One with water, one with dirt, one holy people to love this beautiful earth.
One in Christ, raised up from dead, one at our table of wine and bread.
We come beloved from the dust of the stars,
We are God’s and God is ours.