Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,

wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain;

love lives again, that with the dead has been;

love is come again like wheat arising green.

​(Text by John M. C. Crum)

This might be my favourite Easter hymn my favourite hymn, period (it’s one of the pieces that I would like at my funeral). Set to the tune of a 15th century French Christmas carol, it holds, I think, in tension, the beautiful, hopeful, joyous melancholy of Easter. Our friend, who was dead, is alive again. Our weeping has turned to laughter, our mourning to celebration. It is a lot to sort out and wrestle with in such a short period of time.

 This hymn draws inspiration from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John (12.24), when he says, “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

 The resurrection, that wonderful, confusing, blessed mystery beyond our knowing, is best understood, I believe, through poetry, metaphor, and imagery. Perhaps through something like a hymn.  

 With seeds sprouting in my living room for the Spring Fling next week, this image of the resurrection resonates deep within me. The long, cold, hard, dark winter is over – warmth and light is returning, life has found a way. Hiding seeds in the ground, losing them, waiting, hoping, trusting, they finally spring forth before our eyes, the smallest green shoot lighting a flame in our hearts.

 Jesus, we can say then, was a seed.

 And since we proclaim that we share in both his death and resurrection, perhaps we can say that we are seeds too.

 May you grow, my fellow seeds, where you have been planted. May you spring up, small and delicate and green, basking in the love, like sunshine, of your Creator. May you bear much fruit – the fruit of peace, joy and love – the fruit of the resurrection, to bless this world.

Thanks be to God!