Friday, April 22, 2011

Why?

Son from eternity, ever bathed
in your Father's smile,
you delighted to do his will
and came in appearance as a man.

As your human consciousness
grew beyond milk and breath,
you knew that you were his.
Son of Mary and Son of God.

Your father's business was not
in the chisel and plane of the
carpenter's shop, but in the
temple talking of Abba and his ways.

As Jordan flowed over your head
in baptism, he assured you,
"This is my beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased."

He lovingly poured his Spirit in
full measure upon you and enabled
you to work as he works.
Father and Son, one in act and glory.

Even bent under the enormity of
his will at Gethsemane you still
called him Father while he held the
bitter cup, pressed hard to your lips.

But in the darkness, made sin for us,
nailed to a tree for our rebellion, Abba
who was always with you drew back,
abandoning you to the incomprehending
"Why?"

How much your Father must
have loved us poor wretches,
that he did not spare you his
absence, that he might make us
sons, never to leave or forsake.
Undone by his love, we too ask
"Why?"

6 comments:

jesuit spy said...

Greetings from across the pond! Good to read of your work. God bless you this Resurrection Sunday!
A fellow preacher

Exiled Preacher said...

Thanks for your comments. May the Lord bless you in his service.

Jonathan Hunt said...

Thanks Guy, a heartwarming read.

Ben said...

Just one thing. The normal meaning of 'enormity' is 'great wickedness'. You must know the famous petition of the second prayer book of Edward VI, scandalously removed from later editions:

"From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us"

Yes, I know that nowadays people have started using the word to mean 'enormousness', but it does cause a sharp intake of breath when used in connection with God.

Exiled Preacher said...

Ben,

I was using the word in the sense that it is often used today to denote size and weight rather than evil, "the enormity of the task facing us" etc.

OED: "Excess in magnitude; hugeness, vastness"

Ben said...

Yes. If you are quoting from a recent edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, this is the fourth in a series of definitions and you have left out their note against this, 'disp[uted]'. The Shorter Oxford, third edition simply says 'an incorrect use'.

Lexicographers nowadays of course are following the fashion of 'go with the flow', claiming that it is not their business to be prescriptive. However they hardly hold a consistent position. It comes down to their own decision which malapropisms they choose to include and which ones they prefer to ignore.

Not even King Canute's courtly flatterers could stem the flow of a changing language, but in this particular case many users of English will find that the connection of God with any enormity leaves an uneasy sense of blasphemy.