That Which is Bread

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? – Isaiah

My name is Lazarus and I live

G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936)

Lazarus Saturday, which precedes Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church, is a traditional time for the baptism of converts. My son’s church received five “newly chosen warriors of Christ” as the service puts it, on this past Saturday, which reminded me of this fine poem by G. K. Chesterton, an English convert to Roman Catholicism.

The Convert

After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white,
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead.

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.


Today the grace of the Holy Spirit has gathered us together,
and we all take up Thy Cross and say:
Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest.
— Sticheron for Palm Sunday

May we be gathered to take up the Cross of Christ together
and bear it together to his Bright Resurrection.

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.
For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.
So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
— Romans 14:7–8