the glory that shall rise out of patient and triumphant suffering

other wise manFrom The Story of the Other Wise Man, by Henry Van Dyke:

“‘And remember, my son,’ said he, fixing his deep-set eyes upon the face of Artaban, ‘the King whom you are seeking is not to be found in a palace, nor among the rich and powerful. If the light of the world and the glory of Israel had been appointed to come with the greatness of earthly splendor, it must have appeared long ago. For no son of Abraham will ever again rival the power which Joseph had in the palaces of Egypt, or the magnificence of Solomon throned between the lions in Jerusalem. But the light for which the world is waiting is a new light, the glory that shall rise out of patient and triumphant suffering. And the kingdom which is to be established forever is a new kingdom, the royalty of perfect and unconquerable love.

“‘I do not know how this shall come to pass, nor how the turbulent kings and peoples of earth shall be brought to acknowledge the Messiah and pay homage to Him. But this I know. Those who seek Him will do well to look among the poor and the lowly, the sorrowful and the oppressed.'”

not a god has wounds, but thou

cross

Jesus of the Scars

by Edward Shillito (1872 – 1948)

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;

Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;

We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,

We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;

In all the universe we have no place.

Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?

Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.

If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,

Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;

We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,

Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;

They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;

But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,

And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

The value of a widow

“Jesus made what is perhaps the most striking statement of the value of a widow when he was dying. Most biblical scholars believe that by the time Jesus reached adulthood, his own mother was a widow. If ever there was a time when a man might be forgiven for failing to notice a widow’s sufferings and tears, surely it was when Jesus was being crucified. Yet right in the midst of being tortured, his heart goes out to her. In an act of exquisite compassion and esteem, the suffering Jesus transfers his responsibilities as her eldest son and protector to his beloved disciple John. To Mary he says, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to John, ‘Here is your mother.’ To which the apostle John adds this tender epilogue, ‘From that time on, this disciple took her into his home’ (John 19:26-27). Jesus’ words reveal God’s heart for women and their significance in his sight.”

Carolyn Custis James, in her book The Gospel of Ruth.

seeing at their feet the Deity made weak

Augustine, Confessions:

“For Thy Word, the eternal Truth,

far exalted above even the higher parts of Thy creation,

lifts his subjects up toward himself.

But in this lower world,

he built for himself a humble habitation of our own clay,

so that he might pull down from themselves

and win over to himself those

whom he is to bring subject to him;

lowering their pride

and heightening their love,

to the end that they might go on

no farther in self-confidence – 

but rather should become weak,

seeing at their feet the Deity made weak

by sharing our coats of skin – 

so that they might cast themselves,

exhausted,

upon him

and be uplifted by his rising.”

where God is overwhelmingly active and available

Fred Sanders:

“The New Testament idea of salvation is that God has dealt with us by dealing with Jesus Christ: the life, death and resurrection of Christ are the place where God the Father took hold of human nature to save it, dealt with sin decisively, and poured out his Spirit without reserve. Then and there God and man became intimately united and worked out the grievances that threatened to overturn their covenant relationship. In Christ, God was so overwhelmingly active and available that once and for all the second half of the covenant was kept: ‘I will be your God and you will be my people.’ It all happened in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

something absolutely primal about God

Fred Sanders, in The Deep Things of God, on how the coming of Christ moved the disciples into deeper reflection on the nature of  God Himself:

“Look, for instance, at the way the New Testament takes a step further back with its declaration of salvation: where God declares in the old covenant, ‘I have chosen you,’ the new covenant announces ‘he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.’ The prophets do not make declarations about what happened ‘before the foundation of the world,’ but the apostles do. The main reason for this is that the coming of Christ forced the apostles to think farther back, farther down, into the ultimate foundation of God’s ways and works. When Christ brought salvation, the apostles had to decide whether the life of Jesus Christ was one more event in the series of God’s actions or whether, in meeting the Son of God, they had come into contact with something that was absolutely primal about God himself.”