Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Ludicrous

The ludicrous intruded,
with the swiftness
of a lightning strike,
a jagged eruption
of the other into the now,
warping the woof of time.
Marble gods cracked;
the curtain tore. Clearly
it was something only
Christians could believe
(just ask Hitchens).

Dedicated to Michelle DeRusha*

Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been discussing Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Today’s discussion is on the chapter entitled “The Perfect Penitent,” and in it Lewis perfectly describes the atonement, so perfectly, in fact, that I was left rather stunned after reading it.

Here’s some of what he said:

“We believe that the death of Christ is just that point in history at which something absolutely unimaginable from outside shows through into our own world…the inconceivable, the uncreated, the thing from beyond nature, striking down into nature like lightning…”

“We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. This is what has to be believed.”

I wanted to write something intelligent and polished and erudite and perhaps even learned, but I found myself at a complete loss at the simplicity and directness of Lewis' words. Instead, I used the form of a poem to write what I had read, what I had understood. It still falls short.

To see more posts on this chapter of Mere Christianity, please visit Sarah Salter at Living Between the Lines.

This poem is dedicated to Michelle DeRusha. If you make a donation to The High Calling during the month of May, I've committed to dedicate a poem to you. Just let me know via the comment box or an email that you made a donation (not the amount).


Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Good post. The poem and Lewis' words are amazing. I understand how you feel, it's kind of like being a gnat trying to describe an elephant isn't it? You can sense the grandeur and awesomeness of it all but it's so hard to express. Well done!

Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

I really like the poem, Glynn. This is my favorite line: warping the woof of time.

You captured in poetry so well what Lewis writes in prose. Well done (and thanks for the dedication!).

Louise Gallagher said...

it's my favourite line too -- warping the woof of time.

Well done! by both of you!

Dusty Rayburn said...

Love the poem... and warping the woof of time too. :)

But even more, I love the unfathomable yet simple nature of God's gift of grace to us.

Anonymous said...

well, you're not an old brit. after all.
but, i like your style.

HisFireFly said...

"marble gods cracked"

because they were not gods at all
never have there been any
but the One
our All

your words move us in ways you likely cannot control or understand, His wisdom, His understanding...

Helen said...

Yes. The simplicity of Lewis's words in this Chapter reminded me of when Jesus said that to enter Heaven we must have the faith of a little child.

S. Etole said...

What an intrusion it was ...

David Rupert said...

Of course, that's the intrigue of Lewis' amazing mind. He could the complex and with a few words boil it down to the simple.

Kind of like Jesus

Anonymous said...

Love how you boiled this to its poetic essence, Glynn! Thank you.