A Day Unhinged: The Poetics of Sunday

The very first Sunday looked back on a new creation; a world newly raised by the power of the Spirit. The Word went into the depths of darkness and contended with Chaos, going forth conquering and to conquer. The story reaches its climax when the Man lying lifeless in the dust receives life by the very breath of God. Raised from the ground to be Lord over all the living, this Man—Imago Dei—became the faithful witness, the first begotten from the dust, the Prince of the kings of the earth.

Sunday was the First day of Forevermore; a new morning rising well-rested from God’s own Sabbath. He sent the Word; He raised the world; He finished the work, and then He sat down. Sunday dawned directly from that divine repose, spending its hours laboring to enter again into that sacred rest. The Eighth Day of the Old and First Day of the New set its gaze upon the sun; lifted up by the Father for the life of the world, rising to conquer the darkness, ascending up on high, seated in the heavens, ruling the day.

When viewed from that angle Sundays really haven’t changed that much…

The other days and thou 
Make up one man; whose face thou art, 
Knocking at heaven with thy brow: 
The worky-days are the back-part; 
The burden of the week lies there, 
Making the whole to stoop and bow, 
Till thy release appear. 

The Sundays of man’s life, 
Threaded together on time’s string, 
Make bracelets to adorn the wife 
Of the eternal glorious King. 
On Sunday heaven’s gate stands ope; 
Blessings are plentiful and rife, 
More plentiful than hope. 

The rest of our Creation 
Our great Redeemer did remove 
With the same shake, which at his passion 
Did th’earth and all things with it move. 
As Samson bore the doors away, 
Christ’s hands, though nail’d, wrought our salvation, 
And did unhinge that day. 

~From Sunday by George Herbert


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