Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Born that man no more may die

“I always see the death’s head lurking. I could be sitting at Madison Square Garden at the most exciting basketball game, and they’re cheering and everything is thrilling, and one of the players is doing something very beautiful — and my thought will be, ‘He’s only twenty-eight years old and I only wish he could savor this moment in some way, because, you know, this is as good as it’s going to get for him’ ... The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he dies or that man dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person — religiously or psychologically or existentially — the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way. They’ll never be resolved as long as people wake up each day and worry that they’re finite, that they don’t know why they’re here or where they’re going or when they’re going to die.” (Attrib. Woody Allen, in Ortlund, Raymond, Whoredom: God’s Unfaithful Wife in Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996, fn 69 165).
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His Wings.
Mild, He lays His Glory by,
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the New-born king!”

(Charles Wesley et al., ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’)
“God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.” (HM the Queen)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Heb 2:14-15)

Please give a full name and location when posting. Comments without this information may be deleted. Recommend:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. It is more in the last few years (and especially since preaching on 1 Corinthians 15) that I have realised how far death mocks everything that we reckon is important enough to live for. And then the moment of despair slides into the joy - the renewed sense of joy, certainty, purpose and praise.

    Dominic Webb