Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Truly Wondrous

The great hymn of Isaac Watts often sung on Good Friday, When I survey the wondrous cross says in its final verse

    Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    that were a present far too small;
    love so amazing, so divine,
    demands my soul, my life, my all.

I am often struck how some "religiously correct" versions change the original word
"present" to the more religiously-correct word
The two words don't quite mean the same thing, do they?
They are not synonyms 
An offering is something that is required of us,
it is our duty, our reponsibility
A present is an expression of love
and is given 
rather than exacted as a tribute.

Watts, I suspect, deliberately used the word present
and we should not use the word "offering" any more.

What this points us to
is that the story of the life and death of Jesus Christ
is not a remote religious tale
it is about the way we live our life.
It is in the world of 'presents' rather than 'offerings'

It is about how we live outside church
not inside
It is about present 
rather than offering

So Watts continues not with religious sentiment
but rather with the total commitment of life

love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all

thus all the things we know about Good Friday
and all the challenge that it extends to you and me is not about what we do 
in  holy buildings
it is about what we do at work.
At home, at school,
in our family with our friends

The forgiveness that we seek
is about the sins we have committed in our job.
It is about how we live in our families.
The amazing love that we are called to exercise
is to our wives and husbands, our sons and daughters,
our brothers and sisters.

Being religious is a good way of distancing ourselves
from the realities of our life.

It is an offering rather than a present.

This year, let us go beyond that narrow formal duty...the offering
and instead be a present to God
committed in our life, where we are, where we live.

Love, so amazing so divine, demands nothing less.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this clip. Great words -Great music- Great filming - Great talent. Yay for YouTube!!!!!!!!!!!!!