If we have been united with [Christ] in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

Romans 6:5

A Better Resurrection by Christina Rossetti

I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb'd too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm'd with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall—the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish'd thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.

Isn’t this a powerful poem? Powerful, to me, because it is so very honest. “My life is like a broken bowl,” writes Rossetti, and we all have times when it feels that way. Or like a falling or faded leaf. It might be COVID weariness, or other challenges in life, but even in the midst of the Easter season we don’t always have within us the joy of the resurrection. Life can feel “tedious in the barren dusk” for us all, whether we are people of faith or not.

At such times, though, our faith leads us to lift our eyes to the hills and pray, and as we do so, we hear again the promise of a better resurrection, not only in the life to come, but in this new day. In this Easter season, with new life all around us, but not always in us, we pray: “O Jesus, rise in me.” And Jesus, who died for us, who rose again, and who promises to be with us always, does just that. Here is another is my series of devotions, “Poems, Prayers, Psalms, and Promises“:

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.

Scripture Readings

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. – 2 Corinthians 4:7

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. – Isaiah 64:8

Closing Prayer

We have this treasure in clay jars, Lord, and sometimes we feel like our life is but a broken bowl. But you are our potter, our constant source of help. So, help us, Lord; melt and remold us until we are created anew in your image, and until the joy of our salvation is returned. Grant us a better resurrection, Lord, today, tomorrow, and always. O Jesus, rise in us again. Amen

6 thoughts on “A Better Resurrection by Christina Rossetti

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