My wife and I had the privilege of participating in our oldest son’s homeschool graduation ceremony this past weekend. Each of the six graduates and their parents had 8 minutes each to show their video montage of photos and make any remarks. So our son chose the song “Into the West” by Annie Lennox [choking back tears… proud father of LotR fan] and my wife and I chose enough photos to fill up about 3 minutes. That left us with about 5 minutes to make our remarks as his parents. So I wanted to say something more than the standard “we’re so proud of you and love you.” Since we give people charges when they enter into a new office in life, I thought it’d be appropriate to give him a charge at this boundary between boyhood and the “office” of manhood. I hope this manuscript of my charge to my son may challenge you young Christian men out there as you begin to carve your path forward, a path of loyalty to the King of kings.
Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that-pierced-died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.
The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.
And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.
Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.
Check out this book on Goodreads: Poetry: ESV Reader’s Bible Volume III https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33615932-poetry
Check out this book on Goodreads: The Bruised Reed https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/770495.The_Bruised_Reed
‘It’s a lie. A wicked, cruel lie. How could anyone love their son more than I did? Haven’t I lived only for his memory all these years?’‘That was rather a mistake, Pam. In your heart of hearts you know it was.’‘What was a mistake?’‘All that ten years’ ritual of grief. Keeping his room exactly as he’d left it; keeping anniversaries; refusing to leave that house though Dick and Muriel were both wretched there.’‘Of course they didn’t care. I know that. I soon learned to expect no real sympathy from them.’‘You’re wrong. No man ever felt his son’s death more than Dick. Not many girls loved their brothers better than Muriel. It wasn’t against Michael they revolted: it was against you—against having their whole life dominated by the tyranny of the past: and not really even Michael’s past, but your past.’‘You are heartless. Everyone is heartless. The past was all I had.’‘It was all you chose to have. It was the wrong way to deal with a sorrow. It was Egyptian—like embalming a dead body.’‘Oh, of course. I’m wrong. Everything I say or do is wrong, according to you.’‘But of course!’ said the Spirit, shining with love and mirth so that my eyes were dazzled. ‘That’s what we all find when we reach this country. We’ve all been wrong! That’s the great joke. There’s no need to go on pretending one was right! After that we begin living.’
I got pointed to a “Read Calvin’s Institutes in a Year” schedule about 3 months ago and it is proving itself very refreshing. Here’s a great quote I ran across this morning:
For each man’s mind is like a labyrinth, so that it is no wonder that individual nations were drawn aside into various falsehoods; and not only this–but individual men, almost, had their own gods. For as rashness and superficiality are joined to ignorance and darkness, scarcely a single person has ever been found who did not fashion for himself an idol or specter in place of God.