Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Grace in Action

I celebrated at Burnham Abbey yesterday. The Gospel was the first 17 verses of Matthew’s gospela genealogy, locating Jesus in the real world. This catalogue of great and good men contains four women — all dodgy. The men carry the name, the women bear grace. God uses even their immoral acts to move the story on. Michael Goulder wrote a poem describing this phenomenon, to help us think it through. What God really did in Christ is far more than what moralstic Pelagians may think he should have done!
Exceedingly odd is the means by which God
Has provided our path to the heavenly shore-
Of the girls from whose line the true light was to shine
There was one an adulteress and one was a whore:
There was Tamar who bore-what we all should deplore
A fine pair of twins to her father-in-law,
And Rahab the harlot, her sins were as scarlet,
As red as the thread that she hung from the door;
Yet alone of her nation she came to salvation
And lived to be mother of Boaz of yore-
And he married Ruth, a Gentile uncouth,
In a manner quite counter to biblical lore.
And of her did spring blessed David the King,
Who walked on his palace one evening and saw
The wife of Uriah, from whom he did sire
A baby that died-oh, and princes a score:
And a mother unmarried it was too that carried
God's Son, and him laid in a manger of straw,
That the moral might wait at the heavenly gate
While the sinners and publicans go in before,
Who have not earned their place, but received it by grace,
And have found them a righteousness not of the law.

1 comment:

Xico said...

Dear Bishop
Wonderfull post and the poet was so inspired in his words!
I posted a commnent about the HYBRIS that is definitely threatening the Anglican Communion.
Thanks for your post!

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