‘Seven Stanzas at Easter’ by John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all

it was as His body;

if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules

reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

the Church will fall.


It was not as the flowers,

each soft Spring recurrent;

it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled

eyes of the eleven apostles;

it was as His Flesh: ours.


The same hinged thumbs and toes,

the same valved heart

that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then

regathered out of enduring Might

new strength to enclose.


Let us not mock God with metaphor,

analogy, sidestepping transcendence;

making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the

faded credulity of earlier ages:

let us walk through the door.


The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,

not a stone in a story,

but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow

grinding of time will eclipse for each of us

the wide light of day.


And if we will have an angel at the tomb,

make it a real angel,

weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,

opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen

spun on a definite loom.


Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,

for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,

lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are

embarrassed by the miracle,

and crushed by remonstrance.

Mo Sabri: ‘I Believe in Jesus’

Mo Sabri is a Muslim who believes in Jesus. No, he’s not part of the insider movement. He’s a Muslim…who believes in Jesus.

It may surprise Pentecostal and evangelical Christians to learn that Muslims believe that Jesus, among other things, was born of a virgin, was commissioned to preach, ascended into heaven, and will return again to Jerusalem. Alongside these orthodox beliefs, which are reflected in Mo Sabri’s song, Muslims deny that Jesus was God incarnate and the atonement for our sins. So, from the standpoint of Christian theology (and of historical truth), the Muslim view of Jesus is deficient.

Still, what an interesting cultural moment we live in when a Muslim boy from Tennessee is introduced (in this video) by a Dallas Cowboys team member, declares his belief in Jesus, and closes his video with a quote from Roman Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar: “Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love it.”

Lyrics below the video…

Verse 1

This ain’t a song about bottles in the club
This is about a role model filled with love
A teacher, a preacher with guidance from above
Sent to represent a message of peace like a dove
In the west they call him Jesus, in the east they call him Isa
Messiah, Christ…the same person that you speak of
Ask me why I wrote this song I will tell you because
There’s too many people silent, it’s time for me to speak up
The son of a virgin, they say it is illogical
Probably improbable but God made it possible
Gabriel told Mary that her son would be phenomenal
His voice was always audible, The opposite of prodigal,
He overcame the obstacles, people attacking him
He was a walking hospital, with healing he was passionate
He cured the sick, raised the dead, shout out to Lazarus
I’m talking about Jesus of Nazareth


If we don’t have peace, we’ll end up in pieces
Treat people the way that you want to be treated
If you do believe it, sing it and repeat it
I am not afraid to say that I believe in Jesus

Jesus…I believe in Jesus
I am not afraid to say that I believe in Jesus
Jesus…I believe in Jesus
I am not afraid to say that I believe in Jesus

Verse 2

I’m just a follower of Jesus
What that means is: I follow what he teaches
I’m not the type of person that just wants to give speeches
I’m trying to be the person that will practice what he preaches

Yeah, ’cause I’ve observed people just say the words
But faith ain’t a noun, it is more like verb
That’s why I wrote this verse, to remind us to serve
‘Cause if you haven’t heard, faith is dead without works

How can we say we believe that God exists
If we always act the opposite, it’s ominous
How we only care about our own accomplishments, and we’re quick to break our promises
We gotta put a stop to this

We all sin, I know that we are human
But we cannot keep on using all the same excuses
Now it is the time we need to prevent the abuses
Listen up, I got the solution

Verse 3

Why does our religion always have to cause division?
In reality we’re all more similar than different
Jesus wanted unity, but nowadays it’s missing
We have to use our vision if we want to do his mission

Can’t we see we’re all children of Adam, brothers and sisters?
If you don’t agree, then you haven’t read the Scriptures
Picture when Jesus comes back to Jerusalem
Will he be happy with the way that you’ve become?

We’re living wrong but today’s a new dawn
So sing along to this song, like David singing the Psalms
Now raise up your arms, give alms with open palms
Jesus brought us a message to follow until we’re gone

Shout out to my dad and mom for blessing me in my youth
God’s essence is the proof that his message is the truth
And this song was just a lesson to remind me and you
To ask ourselves this question, what would Jesus do?