for your own good

OK, so this is kind of a Christmas poem… but not really. It could also be considered Easter…

too much to ask

it seemed too much to ask
of one small virgin
that she should stake shame
against the will of God.
all she had to hold to
were those soft, inward
and the remembered sting
of a brief junction–spirit
with flesh.
who would think it
more than a dream wish?
an implausable, laughable
and it seems much
too much to ask me
to be part of the different thing–
God’s shocking, unorthodox,
unheard of Thing
to further heaven’s hopes
and summon God’s glory.

What does she (Luci Shaw) mean by that second verse? The “unheard of Thing to further heaven’s hopes” would seem to be Christ’s death on the cross for the salvation of the world, but how can I be part of that, of his death… Perhaps it’s similar to the liturgy we use at our church to initiate Holy Week, where we yell out “Crucify him! Crucify him!” in our effort to identify ourselves as those who are just as sinful as those who put him to death… because of course, we are, and that’s the whole reason he had to die.

But perhaps the meaning has more to do with the fact that God uses us to tell this very gospel story. We “further heaven’s hopes” by bringing others to God. And the whole purpose of everything, is to “summon God’s glory”. For your own good.

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