We are the shadow people who dance with death,
that great shade, our whole life long.
We try to run from its darkness,
we avoid it, we try to elude it.
But in the end we are always the shadow people,
hopelessly connected to death.
The darkness of death eclipses us.
Death hems us in, stifles us, stunts our growth,
it wants to kill us.
Crippled and cramped by this grave story
we long for a saviour
who sees our crooked shadows, our bent-over-ness.
Jesus cracks open the darkness like a nut.
The tomb’s gloom exposed, extinguished.
And this is the sign, that we have found him,
not swaddled in grave clothes and lying in a tomb,
but alive, amidst us, dynamic, speaking, directing, loving.
Jesus dawns in our lives like the bright morning star,
growing in intensity, enveloping, absorbing,
a light in which there is no darkness at all.
This Easter morning Jesus Christ,
who himself danced with death,
who himself lay three days in darkness,
who himself was crippled and clamped on a cross,
stands straight and tall before us!
God of now-done darkness,
we thank you for our Saviour, the Light of the world
who has brought death to death, and life to life.
—Carol Penner is senior pastor at Lendrum MB Church, Edmonton. She hosts a blog of worship resources at www.leadinginworship.com, where this poem first appeared.