Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Jesus of the Scars" and Newtown

In his powerful and influential book The Cross of Christ (p. 337) John Stott has the following words regarding a poem speaking of the cross of Christ.  I find it relevant in light of the Newtown murders.
Edward Shillito, shattered by the carnage of the First World War, found comfort in the fact that Jesus was able to show his disciples the scars of his crucifixion.  It inspired him to write his poem 'Jesus of the Scars':
If we have never sought, we seek thee now;
   Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight, of thorn-marks 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 know thy grace.

If, when the doors are shut, thou drawest near,
   Only reveal those hands, that side of thine;
We know today 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.